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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt from 2011/2012 Annual Report Association Report for 2011/2012 Introduction This document is primarily the report of the Association’s Mobiles Resourcing Project [The Project], authored by the Association’s Executive Officer, about the activities of the Project over the last year: July 2011 to June 2012. The report also provides information regarding the operations, governance and management of the Association. The report is an ‘output and process’ evaluation of the work of the Project as well as a strategic analysis that raises issues and points to the work for 2012/2013. MCSA has been working on an ‘outcomes’ evaluation in 2011/2012 which will be kicked off in 2012/2013, including external evaluation. The report is also a history of the many aspects of the Association over the years: Retain your history! See later for a history of the funding of the Project. From September 1996, the NSW Government funded Mobiles Resourcing Project has carried out the majority of the resourcing and advocacy work of the Association. The funded project carries out the objectives of the Association [See inside cover of this report], as directed and supervised by the Association’s management committee. The management committee, with members located throughout NSW, has taken on the traditional governance role of ‘project oversight’ and contributing to public policy development from their grounded perspective. The NSW Department of Education and Communities [DEC] provides significant funds for the Mobiles Resourcing Project which includes funding for the Association’s annual conference, the Mobile Meet. This report covers the work of the Executive Officer [Tim Keegan], Early Childhood Project Officer [Melissa Bridges] and Bookkeeper/Administration Officer [Dianne Hansen to September 2011 and Lauren Highfield from November 2011]. As with every year, 2011/2012 has been stimulating, productive & challenging. The Project provides a great variety of activities: Directly supporting Mobile Children’s Services on a range of issues, facilitating a flow of information on topical issues [Filtered and adapted for Mobile Service use], mentoring staff & committee members, developing Mobile Service specific resources, providing Mobile Service specific training, working at policy level with governments, decision-makers & colleagues in the sector, facilitating networking, facilitating training, facilitating Mobile Meet, PR and troubleshooting.


Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Troubleshooting is strongly related to the difficulties & fragility of community management, particularly for smaller services, often compounded by constant change as well as increasing accountability requirements and responsibilities as well as the usual ‘underfunding’/’Over-servicing on the funds available’. Part of this is the difficulty many services have matching their level of demand, level of service delivery, quality of service deliver and back-room tasks with their level of revenue, often overstretching service delivery because of the diversity of need and high demand: Nobody wants to say “no”. This remains a constant in MCSA’s resourcing work. Continuing themes in 2011/2012 have included:  

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Being at the centre of a web focused on a vast flow of information Supporting services through various licensing and monitoring processes. There are good attitudes on both sides of the regulatory ‘fence’, with all stakeholders focusing on the absolute value of providing access to services to children and their parents in isolated circumstances in nonpurpose built facilities: Access//Safety//Quality. Supporting services on their WH&S duties, particularly manual handling, ‘premise’ [Venue] safety and, from January 2012, information and training on the new WH&S legislation. Supporting services on financial management and service development matters in an environment of rising real costs and increasing demand for both the amount and type of service delivery [ie: Aiming to address a diverse expression of community need]. Putting on hold the Administrator’s Network support activity, a strategy that specifically supports administrators and bookkeepers in their crucial work at Mobile Service bases, as funding was only available from ‘carryover’ and the skilled worker, Di Hansen, left in September 2011 after 15 months in the role Supporting these ‘small businesses’ on governance and management Supporting services on staff issues, particularly referral on the bedding down of Modern Award and transitional IR arrangements and satisfying the requirements of the children’s services regulation, both pre and post 1st January 2012 when the new regulation was introduced. Supporting services on a million and one early childhood practices, mainly by information and referral Supporting services through the development of the ‘supplementary provision’ regulation and its introduction from 1st January 2012 Supporting licensed Mobile Services in their preparations for a transition to the National Quality Framework, sometime after 2014 Continuing presentations on Mobile Services at tertiary institutions with the objective of inspiring students to become Mobilers, eventually. Tracking and contributing to the development of public policy for the Federally funded Mobile Services, through support of their national association. Tracking and contributing to the funding of Preschools in NSW through contributing to the Brennan Review of ECEC funding Tracking & contributing to the development of national early childhood policy including the National Quality Framework, consultation on the Draft National Regulation, working out the fit of Mobiles as ‘out-of-scope’ in the NQF & contributing to Productivity Commission’s ECD Workforce Study. Tracking the implementation of the newly developed licensing policy for Mobile Services. Connecting policy makers to services, so that the value and potential of Mobile Children’s Services is recognized. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc. 

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Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Encouraging & facilitating networking between Mobile Services and with local service systems, state-wide funding programs and government initiatives. Substantial effort in facilitating the Hunter Region’s Mobile Meet at Ettalong in 2011 and the development of Mobile Meet 2012 by Northern Region at Coffs Harbour in September 2012. Mobile Meets provide opportunities to implement several advocacy, PR, networking & resourcing strategies. Contributing to the development of public policy through submissions and involvement in activities on various issues, mainly on program design, regulation, funding and level of access issues. Working with other NGO’s with the objective of developing sound public policy for the ECEC sector and Mobiles in particular Researching and developing IT and communication strategies to better resource services and also bring them into a fast developing ICT world.

The Project’s work addresses the variety of service types within Mobile Children’s Services, their ever-changing nature, their challenges and opportunities, the myriad of governance, management and service delivery practices and the diverse range of community needs the services meet. This report outlines the activity of the past twelve months, points to some of the key issues to be addressed in 2012/2013 and proposes some actions. Funding of the Project in 2011/2012 See Section 5 for the funding history of the Project to end-June 2012. NSW Community Services funding for 2011/2012 was $278,000. DEEWR contributed $20,000 to Mobile Meet 2011. Under NSW Community Services’ Sector Development Program, MCSA’s resourcing project was re-contracted for three years for renewable funds from mid-2010 to mid-2013. The Department of Education and Communities picked up this funding in 2011/2012 with contract completion date mid-2013. There was only enough carryover from 2010/2011 to continue the non-core Admin Network Project Officer and Admin-CIM [Communication & Information Management] roles to December 2011. Unfortunately, the staff member concerned moved on in September 2011, so the roles were put on hold. MCSA should prioritise finding funds to revive the work of these roles. The roll out of the National Early Childhood Development Strategy [NECDS] has implications for the Department of Education and Communities [DEC], in its COAG partnership role, regarding The National Quality Framework [EYLF, National Quality Standards and National EC Workforce Strategy] and the continuing roll out of the Universal Access Initiative under the National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education. DEC will have to develop a strategy to resource these initiatives with its 3500 licensed children’s services, 750+ preschools and 400+ other Early Childhood Projects. A resourcing strategy may be dealt with in the Brennan Review of NSW ECEC funding. The MRP is funded to support DEC funded Mobile Services and all licensed Mobile Services, including Federally funded Mobiles. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

MCSA’s believes DEEWR should provide funds to MCSA to specifically resource their funded Mobile Children’s Services in NSW. MCSA is in a good position to develop resources to support Mobile Children’s Services Australiawide as the National Early Childhood Development Strategy is rolled out and services transition to the National Quality Framework. This may be dealt in coming years after a Review of the Budget Based Funding Program. The work of the Project in 2011/2012 The work of the Project follows MCSA’s vision & mission. See later for goals and objectives. The Project is structured around several generic strategies primarily focused on the direct needs of staff and committees: Advice, information, 1800 freecall, referral, public policy development, advocacy, profile-raising, training and networking. The Project also has the flexibility required when the work has to respond to changing needs, strategic opportunities or the odd emergency. The most effective strategies have been the information dissemination, staff and committee support, workshop delivery, annual conference, resource development and networking strategies, where information and relationships are the currency. There is also significant input into developments in public policy matters, especially funding and children’s service regulation at state and national levels. Last year again saw tension between directly supporting services and work on strategic and system level issues. If government and industry policy is ‘right’, then MCSA spends less time on supporting services through problems arising from systemic dysfunction: More time can be spent on the support of good quality service delivery by well managed services. In policy matters, after several reviews, the regulatory arrangements for licensed Mobile Services in NSW is good and looks to continue being so. The level of funding to meet the level of service demand and quality aimed at is the problem for many DEC and DEEWR funded Mobile Services. As usual, many more issues required attention than could be dealt with at depth. The Mobiles Resourcing Project: Outcomes and Activities The Association has redeveloped the Workplan of the Mobiles Resourcing Project [MRP] for 2011/2012 to align with the Department of Family and Community Services’ [FACS] Sector Development Program. The re-alignment is consistent with the goals of the SDP and the MRP’s Activities are a selection of the type of activities that the SDP encourages. The MRP also incorporates design elements from the UK’s National Council for Voluntary Organisation’s [NCVO] Value of Infrastructure Program, the University of Wisconsin’s ‘extension’ ‘logic model’ and Results Based Accountability. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

The redevelopment aims to assist with better service planning and evaluation, particularly external evaluation. MCSA’s primary stakeholders are Mobile Children’s Services and our first responsibility is to the incorporated bodies of the Mobile Services. This means we work with committees, management bodies and staff but we focus on the ‘survive and thrive’ of the Mobile Service organisation. The Impact or long term outcomes MCSA wants to achieve are:    

Mobiles Services are strong organisations Mobile Services stakeholders are capable people Mobile Service stakeholders are connected and Public policy is sound in the support of access to and the operations of Mobile Services

MCSA’s primary stakeholders are Mobile Services working with their primary stakeholders: Children, families and communities in isolated circumstances. In doing this we engage with any other stakeholder, government, nongovernment or private who supports our work. Theory of change 1: In achieving these Impacts, short term outcomes are achieved through Activities leading to increased knowledge, skills, motivation and confidence. Theory of change 2: In turn, changes in knowledge, skills, confidence and motivation are assumed to lead to the medium term outcome of stakeholders taking action to address practices or issues. An external evaluation in 2012/2013 will assess the Impacts, Activities and the theory of change on select Activities. The Mobiles Resourcing Project: Service delivery areas The MRP has three service delivery areas with numerous activities related to the support of Mobile Services and one activity area related to the governance and management of the Association.    

Influence Connect Develop Govern and manage MCSA

The Mobiles Resourcing Project: The work in 2012/2013:

1.

Influence

Impact: Public policy is sound in support of access to Mobile Services & their operations Objective: To provide timely, representative & well informed input into policy development that supports access to Mobile Services & their operations including advocacy for individual Mobile Services.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

This Activity aims to ensure that public policy is sound for the operation of and access to Mobile Services. It focuses on consultation with Mobile Services and engagement with general, government and non-government organisation stakeholders. Dealing with public policy is a core task of Executive Officer role. For convenience, as the issues appear in all the sections of the following ‘Influence’ activity area, this report outlines the activity of the MRP on the various public policy issues and some historical matters in the next section, 1.1.1 Inform. From the foundation of Informing services, MCSA Consulted, Advocated and then worked with government and non-government stakeholders. As all the issues have a long history. Sections 6 and 7 provide a history regulation and funding matters: Keep the history. 1.1 Inform, consult & represent Mobile Children’s Services on strategic & public policy issues This Activity is focused on ensuring that Mobile Services are kept informed and their voice heard in the development of sound public policy. The tasks are to keep Mobile Services informed about public policy/strategic issues, to consult with and represent Mobile Services and to advocate for them collectively and individually. 1.1.1 Informed The work in 2011/2012 involved keeping the services informed on a range of strategic issues. It is useful to describe the history: See Sections 6 and 7 for the recent history of the two most critical issues, regulation and funding. Most information was supplied through e-letters broadcast to all Mobile Services and then through consultation papers and then through communication with individual services as well as discussion at regional meetings and delivery of workshops [WH&S]. Many of these issues were also the subject of consultation and representation – See later. The top public policy and strategic issues in 2011/2012 were: [i]

Reviews of the Children’s Services regulation[s] relevant to Mobile Services

There were several reviews of children’s services legislation in 2011/2012, continuing from 2010/2011 and now into 2012/2013. These reviews were held in the shadow of the development and implementation [From 1.1.2012] of the National Quality Framework where licensed Mobile Services are currently out-of-scope.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

There are 60 licensed Mobile Children’s Services in NSW, serving hundreds of communities and thousands of children, amongst 3,500 licensed children’s services in NSW: Small in number but great in coverage. MCSA is keen that licensed Mobile Services retain their flexibility and are regarded as good quality, ‘fit for purpose’ children’s services, not a poor cousin in the ECEC service system. As such, licensed Mobiles need to be subject to most of the standards applicable to centre-based services. MCSA believes that the NSW Government’s mechanism for licensing Mobile Children’s Services and dealing with non-compliant venues on a risk management basis [Venue Management Plans] is the best of any Australian jurisdiction. See Section 6 for a history of regulation matters up to mid-2011. In lieu of a complete review of the Children’s Services Regulation 2004 in 2010/2011, stymied because of an earlier than expected COAG agreement on the National Quality Framework, the NSW Government opted to amend the regulation, introducing some mooted administrative aspects of the national system including better ratios for under two year olds from January 2011. All licensed children’s services in NSW operated under this amended regulation for 2011, marking time until the NQF legislation came into force from 1st January 2012, at least for those services in-scope for the NQF. 2011 was therefore a year of development and finalisation of the National Regulation [The National Law was finalized in late 2010], National Quality Standard and attendant ratings and assessment system under the NQF. MCSA was part of the NSW Government’s NQF Reference Group which was a consultation group supporting resourcing the sector rather than direct input into legislation or system development. By the by, MCSA tracked the development of the National legislation and system, attending many NSW NQF reference Group meetings and reading many pieces of legislation, including submissions [April 2011 on the draft National Regulation] and comment on this Federally led initiative. The DEC NQF Reference Group continued into early 2012 as the new National Law and Regulation was introduced from 1st January 2012. MCSA paid close attention to the development of the new system because it was likely that Mobile Services would come under the NQF after 2014. In parallel with the development of the national system, through the same NSW NQF Reference Group, MCSA worked with DEC and other non-NQF services [Occasional Care and some Indigenous services], to develop a new Act and Regulation for non-NQF services which was to be operational from 1st January 2012 when the NQF legislation began and the old legislation was to be repealed. DEC consulted on the post-January 2012 non-NQF regulation in mid-2011, providing a Discussion Paper [New Act & new regulation].

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

MCSA’s principles were that the standards in the new legislation would not be lower than the current NSW legislation and, if the National legislation had higher standards, this should be in the new out-of-scope legislation. MCSA provided a submission for the development of the new out-of-scope legislation in mid-2011 and then a final submission in late 2011 when an exposure draft was consulted on. The process of the consultation and the results were good for Mobiles in that the new non-NQF legislation aligned several major administrative aspects of the NQF legislation and retained the higher standards of the previous NSW Children’s Services Regulation 2004: Easier transition! The early part of 2012 was spent resourcing Mobile Services on the new Supplementary Provisions Act and Regulation. As the new Children’s [Education and Care Services] Supplementary Provisions Act 2011 and Children’s [Education and Care Services] Supplementary Provisions Regulation 2004 provided no great changes in operational terms to the previous legislation, MCSA informed the services through e-letters for the most part. DEC set up an NQF Partnership Group in May 2012 to support the roll-out of the NQF. Thank you to DEC staff who ran a good show in consulting, designing and jumping through the parliamentary hoops to get the new non-NQF legislation up and running by 1st January 2012. Once again, NSW has shown that it has the best Mobile Service system and regulation in Australia. Brilliant! Cut! Overall, MCSA is clear that the NSW Government and departmental officers value the work of licensed Mobiles. This is important if Mobiles are to retain the flexibility needed to work in non-purpose built/non-compliant facilities. [ii]

The Department of Education & Communities’ Mobiles Licensing Policy

Arising from several discussions about the definition of Mobile Services in the pre-January 2012 legislation, 2010 saw the development by NSW Community Services of a policy for licensed Mobiles. This was consulted on, completed by September 2010 and has proven useful. The Project provided several written comments and had meetings with the Department. Within several constraints, centre-based services are able to auspice onevenue ‘outreach’ Mobile Services, outreaching into under-serviced areas. MCSA expects that most of these will eventually pick up two venues, meeting one of MCSA’s main criteria for being licensable as a Mobile, having at least two venues. This flexibility is likely to prove useful as the work continues to get Mobile Preschools into under-serviced communities, however, it is yet to be seen how the ‘Mobiles Licensing Policy’ has fared under the new definition of Mobile Children’s Service in the National Legislation and NSW’s ‘Supplementary Provisions’ legislation for ‘state regulated children’s services’: Something to work on in 2012/2013. MCSA has kept services informed about this policy. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

[iii]

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Development & implementation of the regulatory aspect of the NQF

As noted above and described in Section 6, MCSA contributed to reference groups assisting in NSW’s response to the NQF and in a partnership group supporting resourcing in NSW. Mobile Services were kept informed through e-letters, website articles, social media, regional meetings, some regional training, phone discussions and activities at Mobile Meet 2011. As a member of the NQF Partnership Group, MCSA has kept Mobile Services in the loop about the NQF through e-letters. Congratulations to everyone involved in the development of the NQF. DEEWR and DEC staff have produced a fantastic effort in getting this show on the road. Generations of children and parents and their communities will benefit. Mobiles Services in NSW want to be part of this system. [iv] Preparation for Mobile Services transitioning into the NQF MCSA participated in various forums and reference groups and contributed submissions during the development of the NQF. All the while, MCSA kept an eye on how licensed Mobile Services could transition to the NQF in coming years. The COAG partnership agreement underlying the NQF is up for review in 2014 and this will be a vehicle to argue for the inclusion of licensed Mobile Services in the NQF. MCSA noted in its early 2011 submission on the consultation draft of the National Regulation that the mechanism of ‘service waivers’ on ‘physical environment’ seems like a useful substitute for the ‘Venue Management Plans’ of the current arrangement. MCSA has also looked at the various components of the NQF and has developed a broad strategy for Mobile Services to be ‘NQF ready’:  2012: Mobiles implement the Early Years Learning Framework  2013: Mobiles implement the National Quality Standard into their practice  2014: Mobiles trial the ratings & assessment system through development of a Quality Improvement Plan This has brought to bear all the various resourcing activities listed in Activity Area 2: Develop and will deepen over the coming years. The Early Years Learning Framework [EYLF] element of the NQF was launched in mid-2009, is a well accepted framework, is a key element in the new system and its use a standard to achieve. MCSA has encouraged Mobiles to learn and implement the EYLF to kick start their transition to the NQF. The EYLF is a useful tool, directly addressing the ‘Program’ Quality Area of the National Quality Standard and informing aspects of other Quality Areas. Work on the NQF in 2011/2012 proceeded at an early stage on the development of the NQF ratings and assessment system. The system has had several cycles of development, piloting and review. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

MCSA has only tracked this loosely to end-2011 as licensed Mobiles wouldn’t be subject to the system until sometime in 2014/2015 and it seemed that there was a long way to go. MCSA has tracked this more closely recently as the system rolled out with NQF services from June 2012. The final documentation of the ratings and assessment system, published in late 2011, provides useful guides on indicators of quality and will help the eventual transition of Mobiles to the new system. MCSA has also advised Mobile Services to focus on the National Quality Standards rather than the letter of the National Regulation as there are still differences between the National and ‘supplementary provisions’ Regulation. Throughout the last few years, MCSA has provided Mobiles with a lot of information about the NQF and encouraged services to attend information and training sessions offered by all providers. Mobile Services were kept informed through e-letters, website articles, social media, regional meetings, some regional training, phone discussions and activities at Mobile Meet 2011. In particular, Mobile Meet 2011 workshops had the EYLF as foundational. Workshops at Mobile Meet 2012 will be underlain by the EYLF and the National Quality Standards. [v]

Administration of NSW Government funding of Mobile Services

See Section 7 for a history of the funding of the NSW Preschool sector and Mobile Preschools to mid-2011. MCSA’s briefing papers and submissions are also available on the website. Following is what happened in 2011/2012. MCSA kept Mobile Services up to date through e-letters, individual support, website articles, Consultation Papers, Briefing Papers and a submission to the Brennan Review. 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 are set to be the game changer for NSW’s Preschool service system. Successive governments of all types neglected the system for decades. A change of government in March 2011 led to various immediate administrative changes to the system, significantly more Universal Access funds became available from the Feds and, most importantly, there was a review of the NSW government’s funding of ECE services. MCSA started off 2011/2012 by meeting with the new Minister for Education and Communities, Adrian Piccoli, in June 2011, providing a briefing paper with some focus on Preschool funding and the opportunities provided by the Mobile model of service delivery. MCSA developed a comprehensive briefing paper on the administration & opportunities of a service system approach to NSW Preschools in June 2011.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

The Minister announced a review of NSW ECE funding, led by Professor Deborah Brennan. After wide consultation, MCSA provided a submission to this review in November 2011. MCSA attended the Review’s consultations and Professor Brennan addressed the issues at Mobile Meet 2011. Whilst the Review Report was made available to the Minister in early 2012, the sector is waiting on the Minister’s response which is to come after the Department has made an assessment. Well, OK I suppose. Waiting. On system administration and day to day issues in 2011/2012, MCSA supported Mobile Preschools:  Through the August data collection process  Supported where individual services had trouble with their particular circumstance being crunched through the ‘formula’  Supported DEC in their work on ensuring the peculiarities of the ‘funding formula’ didn’t disadvantage Mobiles  Supported on rule interpretation such as the buffering and 15hpw rule  Supported on the various back-payments made at the end of 2012  Supported on the implementation of the Early Childhood Teacher subsidy  Worked with DEC’s regional staff on community engagement, Indigenous access, venues, the funding review, application of the funding formula Thank you to FACS/DEC funding staff who worked hard at ensuring Mobile Preschools were well served by the application of the funding formula. MCSA advocated with the DEC Minister’s office on one serious failure of process during the ‘pick-up’ by DEC of Mobile Preschool funding allocated through the Preschool Growth Program, leaving services wondering how to finance their operations for many months. 2012/2013: Things to do on Mobile Preschool issues:  Working with agencies to expand the number & reach of Mobile Preschools, where a mobile model is useful, especially focused on socalled ‘hard to reach’ communities & filling gaps in urban expansion areas.  Waiting for the result of the Brennan Review and working with Mobile Preschools to support their survive and thrive strategies  Working with the Preschool sector to support better governance and management arrangements, especially multi-auspice arrangements  Working with the Preschool sector to support unviable small, stand alone centre-based Preschools to become ‘mobile’  Waiting for the result of the Brennan Review to address the circumstances of a large number of centre-based Preschools working in low income communities or with low utilization.  Waiting for the result of the Brennan Review to address the circumstances and service delivery models of Mobile Preschools  Advocating for a good standard of establishment funds for new or expanding Mobile Preschools, including capital costs for venues  Waiting for the result of the Brennan Review for a funding model to subsidise ECT’s  Working with partners to ensure the social planning and service development work of the Preschool Growth Stage agencies continues in one form or another  Advocating for a regionally based children’s services resourcing strategy to ensure Preschools in NSW are ready for the roll out of the National Quality Framework, especially the new quality assurance system mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

 I have measured out my life with Preschool funding committees  Reworking MCSA’s business planning resources in light of the result of the Brennan Review MCSA now waits for DEC to make the Review and their response public and understands there will be a working group assisting DEC test their model. [vi]

Implementation of new Work Health and Safety legislation

In a similar way to the COAG process leading to the National Quality Framework for regulating and quality assuring licensed children’s services and the kick-off of new legislation for in-scope services from Ist January 2012, a new harmonized Work Health and Safety system kicked off throughout Australia on the same date. MCSA had tracked this for many years but did not consult on or advocate or contribute to policy development. A reading of the final legislation showed that the new system was an evolution from the old with a better or more refined approach on many matters. If services maintained their risk management approach, they would be fine. MCSA informed services through e-letters, discussions with individual services and a workshop road show in most MCSA regions and wit individual services. This will be a continuing and priority issue for many years. MCSA will continue to ‘inform’ as well as develop and redevelop resources and workshops on key WH&S practices. WH&S procedures for premises and the ‘service waiver’ element of the new NQF legislation will fit hand-in-glove for transitioning to the NQF. I’m looking at you DEEWR! [vii] Other strategic issues in 2012/2013 The above were the key issues where MCSA ‘informed’ Mobile Services at length. Most of these issues also required consultation and some individual advocacy. MCSA tracked many other strategic issues and these will be tracked and actively worked on, if appropriate, in 2012/2013:  DEC’s non-Preschool funded services under the Early Childhood Project pot need consideration and perhaps a program review, including timely notice and provision of annual indexation  A review of Budget Based Funding for Federally funded services notified in late July 2012 – This will be a major project for MCSA that will feed into the next Federal election including a push for expansion of DEEWR funded Mobile Child Care Services.  COAG is harmonising the regulation of Charities and NFP organisations. This was loosely tracked. 2012/2013 will see the rubber hit the road for ‘charities’ at least and the need to keep Mobile Services informed.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

1.1.2

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Consultation and representation

See above for the various strategic issues addressed directly or indirectly by MCSA. This section focuses on the consultation aspect. At some stage, issues become so important to Mobile Services that they have to be consulted on. Consultation takes many forms, from individual discussions to group discussions at MCSA meetings, regional meetings and Mobile Meets to formal consultation papers prior to making submissions. Consultation is a good alternative to fossicking amongst the entrails of slaughtered beasts to divine what public policy should be. MCSA selected the most important issues to consult on:  MCSA provided a consultation paper and submission on the exposure draft of the National Regulation in Term 2, 2011  MCSA provided a January 2011 submission on the Productivity Commission’s ECD Workforce Study and a slight mid-2011 submission on their draft study.  MCSA provided a consultation paper and submission on DEC’s Discussion Paper on new children’s services legislation for non-NQF services in mid2011  MCSA provided a consultation paper and submission on the exposure draft of the proposed non-NQF legislation in late 2011  MCSA provided a consultation paper and submission on the statutory review of the Children’s [Education and Care Services] Supplementary Provisions Regulation 2004 in Terms 2 and 3, 2012  MCSA provided a consultation paper and submission on the Brennan review of NSW ECE funding as well as a number of information and Briefing Papers. MCSA provided these consultation papers and submissions to other agencies who, as usual, have been very supportive of the ‘mobile model’. 2012/2013: MCSA will: Focus on DEEWR’s BBF Program review; Focus on the Brennan NSW ECE funding review results; Focus on public policy associated with the incorporation of the non-NQF services. 1.1.3

Advocacy

This activity covers the direct support of individual Mobile Services or a group of them by engaging directly with other stakeholders when the wheels fall off or are in danger of falling off, particularly with regulation & funding bodies. Broader public policy advocacy is dealt with in 1.1.2 Consultation and Representation above. Often enough, the sticky or contested issues are related to problems in public policy or the interpretation of legislation, contracts and guidelines.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

In 2011/2012, MCSA advocated on:  Expediting payments from DEC to Mobile Preschools transferring from Preschool Growth Program projects - See 1.1.1 above. This was B.A.D!  Supporting Mobile Preschools through getting the right amount of funding for their circumstances after the annual data collection exercise – The ‘formula’ has difficulty crunching the numbers and they have to be individually dealt with by DEC’s funding staff – Very good departmental support on this one. This will be supported again in 2012/2013.  Supporting services funded by DEC in the Early Childhood Projects pot to get indexation. It came, but was very late – Something for MCSA to advocate on in 2012/2013.  Individual Mobile Service support on interpretation of the children’s service regulation including Nominated Supervisor status, the 50% on-deck rule [Not applicable to Mobiles], cross-over of national and State regulation on certified supervisor, approved provider and approved service issues and definition of Mobile regarding service approval issues MCSA, for the first time in many years, bought two of these issues to the attention of the Minister’s office. MCSA was successful in DEC agreeing to continue the arrangement of a ‘contact’ officer in the Directorate who is knowledgeable on Mobile Service licensing issues and can deal with the most difficult/complex issues. The provision of Mobile Children’s Services to communities and their licensing by Assessment and Compliance Officers [ACO’s] is a complex matter with a degree of subjectivity and ambiguity. The standards of safety have to be negotiated as perceptions differ. Tensions arise. Licensing Mobile Services is a difficult task for ACO’s. They recognize the tensions between access, safety and quality in non-standard venues and the challenges in a non-centre based children’s service’s ‘systems of work’. The past year has continued to see few problems arising in the licensing and monitoring of services as both NSW Education and Communities and the licensed Mobiles have come to grips with each other’s needs and the overriding value to make services accessible to children and families. The Project has taken to referring inexperienced CSO’s to those more experienced. 2012/2013: MCSA will: Focus on getting public policy right; Acting as gobetween on issues arising; Finally, push for the result of a good quality, well managed Mobile Services; EO to continue with his weeping prophet on a street corner schtick; 1.2 Work with all stakeholders on Mobile Service, strategic & general public policy issues The work here covers engagement with other stakeholders who are not directly ‘government’ [See 1.3] and not MCSA public policy partners in the NFP sector [1.4], including researchers addressing public policy. This has turned out to not be a useful category in the Workplan, at least for this year as most stakeholders are government or NFP. MCSA did not engage with researchers on public policy issues other than those engaged in government enquiries which are dealt with elsewhere. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

1.3 Work with Government agencies to address Mobile Service, strategic and public policy issues This activity covers the direct work on public policy with government agencies, mainly NSW DEC on funding and licensing and some connection with DEEWR on mainly funding issues. The background for many issues, funding and licensing in particular, is described in Section 1.1.1 and Section 6 and 7 later. [i]

The Productivity Commission

Given that staff recruitment and retention is a key issue in Mobile Services, MCSA tracked and contributed to the Productivity Commission’s [PC] Early Childhood Development Workforce Study, providing a submission in early 2011 and comment on the draft study in mid-2011. As PC studies and reports often do, their ECD Workforce Study will be a key public document for MCSA to work with, particularly sections on rural and remote recruitment and retention and sector training and resourcing. MCSA also tracked but did not contribute to the PC’s less recent work on the ‘contribution of the NFP sector’. This, plus various Treasury reports, have contributed to Federal Government activity on the harmonisation of Charities and NFP regulation and charity tax concessions – Strategic issues to track in 2012/2013. [ii]

Work with the NSW Department of Education and Communities [DEC]

General See 1.1.1 Information about day to day contact with DEC staff on non-public policy issues. A lot of DEC staff are on MCSA’s General Email Broadcast elist. DEC attended the DEC Forum at Mobile Meet 2011 addressing the Review of NSW ECE funding, regulation, the Indigenous Child Care Choice research and other matters. Professor Brennan consulted with Mobile Preschools at the 2011 forum. MCSA worked with regional and head office DEC staff and sometimes the Minister’s office. Regulation MCSA put a lot of time and effort in working with DEC on Regulation issues: Meetings, discussions and reading. See 1.1.1 Information for an outline of activity in 2011/2012 as well as Section 6 for the history. MCSA attended DEC’s NQF Reference Group meetings throughout 2011 and into early 2012 as key aspects of the NQF legislation and ratings and assessment system were developed and finalised. MCSA was an observer for the most part wrt the NQF, keeping an eye on how & when Mobile Services as non-NQF services would transition in later years. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

MCSA was an active participant in the development of the non-NQF ‘supplementary provisions’ legislation. MCSA provided submissions on DEC Discussion Papers and exposure drafts of legislation. MCSA provided a submission to the review of the ‘supplementary provisions regulation 2004’ in June 2012. DEC has advised of only minor and agreed amendments to the Regulation which will come into force from 1st September 2012. The NQF Reference Group seemed to transform into the NQF Partnership Group in May 2012 as the NQF legislation was bedded down and there needed to be a co-ordinated approach to resourcing the sector. Much of the NQF Partnership Group time has also been spent on the roll-out of the ratings and assessment system. This continues into 2012/2013 and will be valuable for MCSA as we develop and implement our own resourcing strategy to assist the transition to the NQF, especially adapting the ratings and assessment system to Mobile circumstances. There were several discussions about the Mobiles Licensing Policy. Adopted in 2010 under the old Regulation, but still useful, there will need to be a review in 2012/2013 as the definition of ‘Mobile Service’ has changed due to the NQF [‘Service waivers’ here we come!] and hopefully the Brennan Review will be looking at innovative and flexible models of Preschool and licensed Mobile Preschools must be in this mix, requiring ‘flexible’ regulation. 2012/2013: MCSA will: Work directly with DEC to bed down the 2012 review of the ‘supplementary provisions’ regulation; Interpret the interface between the aligned aspects of the National and state based legislation; Review the Mobiles Licensing Policy; Advocate for transition of non-NQF to NQF. Funding MCSA put a lot of time and effort working with DEC on funding issues, particularly Mobile Preschool funding: Meetings, discussions and reading. See 1.1.1 Information for an outline of activity in 2011/2012 as well as Section 7 for the history. MCSA met with the new Minister for Education and Communities in June 2011, supplying a briefing paper emphasising funding issues. MCSA subsequently provided a briefing paper [Not so brief really] on administrative aspects of Preschool funding and the opportunities of a thriving Preschool service system. In the meantime, the DEC Minister announced a review of NSW ECE funding. MCSA attended meetings and consultations, held a consultation with Professor Brennan at Mobile Meet 2011 and provided a submission in November 2011. MCSA met with the Minister’s advisor in August 2011, discussing the range of issues and later sought support on a number of policy [Grant indexation] and practical issues [Pick-up of Preschool growth program projects by DEC] that DEC weren’t delivering on. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Whilst MCSA resourced services on many funding issues, most were generated from policy developed previously, such as the ECT subsidy and application of ‘the formula’ to back-dated and new funding. MCSA continued to push for better policy on a few issues:  Consideration of the circumstances of urban fringe Mobile Preschools that have low utilization now but their locale is slotted for urban growth in a few years – This should be dealt with by the Brennan Review but there is some urgency to the issue.  Consideration of CAMMS services & where they fit in the ECP funding pot  Consideration of a review of the entire ECP funding pot  Consideration of a dedicated and well resourced professional development funding program – This may be dealt with by the Brennan Review. 2012/2013: Work directly with DEC on modeling the Brennan Review recommendations and implementation of the results; Ensure grant indexation for DEC’s Early Childhood Projects funding is timely; Review of ECP funding; Track the roll-out of DEC’s ECEC Directorate’s structure, especially regulation and funding support teams. [iii]

Work with the Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations

The work with DEEWR involved very little on public policy development. Although the development of the NQF is led by Federal Government/DEEWR, most of the NQF policy work was through DEC’s NQF Reference group plus submissions to DEEWR on the exposure draft of the National Regulation. The opportunity was taken to inform DDEWR staff about MCSA’s position on the NQF and transition when it arose at various meetings – See MCSA’s support of the National Association of Mobiles in support of a NQF transition. MCSA keeps in touch with DEEWR’s NSW state office through their being on MCSA’s General E-mail Broadcast elist, keeping them in the loop, their attendance at Mobile Meet and several conversations on policy issues. NSW DEEWR has dropped their industry liaison committee arrangement. Pity, I miss the broad range of information and the biscuits. MCSA has tracked DEEWR’s work on the ECD Workforce initiative, including Indigenous employment in ECEC services. At a national level, MCSA has supported the Mobile Services’ national peak, NAMS, in their work with the National Children’s Services Forum and other advocacy work in Canberra. This has been on an information supply basis. 2012/2013: Work directly with state and national office DEEWR on the recently announced Budget Based Funding Program Review and implementation of reforms; Support the expansion of Mobile Child Care Services; Support realistic funding for DEEWR funded Mobiles; Advocate for further introduction of the National Early Childhood Development Strategy; Discuss the use of Universal Access funds by DEC; Develop a policy for the Federal election late in 2013.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

1.4

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Work with non-Government Agencies on public policy issues

The work here involves working in partnership with NFP peaks on the range of public policy issues canvassed above with other peak agencies, service providers and networks. There is a focus on MCSA involvement with several strategically important sector-wide peaks. MCSA has a good relationship with many of these agencies and appreciates the work they do to support individual Mobile Services and the ‘mobile’ model. [i]

General liaison work

MCSA worked with many agencies on public policy issues in 2011/2012:             

AECSL Community Connections Solutions Australia Community Child Care Co-op NSW Contact Inc Early Childhood Australia – NSW Branch Isolated Childrens and Parents Association KU Children’s Services Local Community Services Association NSW Council of Social Services Occasional Child Care Association of NSW Uniting Care Burnside Calypso Café on Albion Street Uniting Care Children’s Services

Much activity occurred on the sidelines of the various government reference groups noted above and involved the sharing of submissions, views and information. MCSA works more closely with some of these agencies on joint day to day resourcing of Mobile Services leading to discussions and joint positions on various public policy issues whether funding, governance, regulation or industrial relations. [ii]

NSW Children’s Services Forum

The Forum is the peak of peaks for the NFP children’s sector in NSW and includes many of the agencies listed above. It provides a joint voice on issues, something which isn’t possible as individual agencies attend the various government working parties and reference groups and voice their own agency’s view. The Forum acts to co-ordinate the sharing of information and action and meets every third Friday, bi-monthly, as well as for various sub-committee meetings addressing specific issues. MCSA attended several meetings in 2011/2012, including sub-committee meetings about Preschool Service funding.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

[iii]

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Australian Community Children’s Services

The Australian Community Children’s Services is a national peak of children’s services, focusing on NFP issues. MCSA had little involvement with the group in 2011/2012 apart from attendance at the May 2012 national conference and participation on a panel. MCSA to do better. [iv]

National Association of Mobile Services

The National Association of Mobile Services and is an active and respected member of the National Children’s Services Forum, meeting and advocating in Canberra within a formalised lobbying framework. MCSA works closely with the NAMS’s President, Robyn Paterson, sharing views, submissions & MCSA resources via e-letters, meetings & phone calls. Issues in 2011/2012 included: The development and implementation of the NQF; Status of non-NQF services in various jurisdictions; Use of Universal Access funds in the different jurisdictions, NSW’s approach to venue management; Recruitment and retention including the PC’s ECD Workforce Study; Unmet demand; Survive budgets; Administration of the Budget Based Funding Program; ACECQA. MCSA will work closely with NAMS in 2012/2013 on the recently announced review of the Budget Based Funding Program. 2012/2013: Federal election lead-up year and most agencies will be putting forward a platform – MCSA will contribute to these; MCSA to work more closely with Early Childhood Australia. MCSA to continue to share information on policy issues including submissions.

2.

Connect

Impact: Mobile Children's Services are well connected to each other and the early childhood development service system Objective: To provide support that connects Mobile Service stakeholders to other Mobile Services and the Early Child Development service system This activity aims to ensure that Mobile Services value networking and are connected to their local community service system and other Mobile Services. It also connects the different types of Mobiles and staff roles within services as well promote Mobile Services as a useful model of service delivery. 2.1

Connect Mobile Children’s Services to the wider ECD system

The work here encourages networking as a professional practice, connecting Mobile Services to the wider Early Childhood Development system including local networks, other peak agencies and programs. There was a limited amount of work here, with services kept up to date on various programs through e-letters. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Services need to make a commitment to local networking. MCSA supported the Contact Inc. mentoring and connecting-up program. 2012/2013: MCSA to develop collations on networking practice based on the NQS; MCSA to keep services up to date on relevant programs. 2.2

Connect Mobile Services through Regional Networks

The work here covers facilitating the operation of Mobile Service Regional Networks including supporting the organisation of the Mobile Meet by a region. This is a key MCSA resourcing strategy. MCSA believes that networking is a critical practice. Connecting Mobile to Mobile, in the regions, is important for mutual support and the sharing of practices. The amount and depth of regional networking varies by region and year and is highly dependent on the leadership provided by MCSA’s Regional Representatives and the value put on networking by individual practitioners. The EO and the ECPO share this role, being responsible for different regions These changing from year to year. The ECPO supports the Regional Network that acts as the Mobile Meet Organising Committee [MMOC]. Organising Mobile Meet, having a very complex and demanding task, is fantastic for strong networking. Regional meetings may be sharing sessions and/or training/guest speaker sessions. Regional networking establishes relationships that lead to staff supporting each other outside the network’s activities and the often feeds back into what issues the network’s address. When welcoming new staff to Mobile Services, MCSA also connects them to the local Mobile Service network. MCSA welcomed several new regional Representatives in 2011/2012 and supported them through a very steep learning curve: Stay with us!! Activity in 2011/2012 was:  Mobile Meets: A specific time is set aside for Regional Meetings  Hunter Valley: Met many times as they organised Mobile Meet 2011: 19.7.11; 22.8.11 by teleconference; 22.11.11 Mobile Meet review and celebration and Kidsafe; 12.3.12 including a MCSA Early Years Learning Framework plus WH&S workshop and Hunter Prelude; 4.6.12 – Bnevolent Society on Brighter Futures.  Sydney Region: Meets at Penrith: 23.11.11; 15.2.12; 1.5.12 including an MCSA Early Years Learning Framework plus WH&S workshop. Mainly western Sydney services.  Western: Two services at Bourke on 23.3.12 for MCSA’s WH&S Workshop  Central West: Met at Orange on 22.5.12 for an MCSA WH&S Workshop and annual goat sacrifice.  Northern Region: Met several times at Bingara [28.10.11; 24.2.12; 23.3.12; 26.4.12 teleconference and once at Coffs Harbour [1.6.12] as they organised Mobile Meet mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Riverina/Murray did not meet in 2011/2012. MCSA WH&S workshops were delivered to three individual Mobile Services in this region. Southern Region did not meet in 2011/2012 – This is an awkward region, geographically, to organise. MCSA resources individual services in other ways – See next section: Develop. MCSA endeavours to deliver workshops at regional meetings. The EO delivered several workshops about the new W&S legislation whilst the ECPO trialed an ‘introduction to EYLF’ workshop. MCSA also encourages other resourcing agencies to provide training to the Networks and subsidises this training. This works for any two Mobiles meeting and training. Several trainers were referred to Regional Reps. 2012/2013: MCSA to further encourage training at Network meetings provided by other agencies; MCSA to review how to best support Southern Region; MCSA to research possibility of ‘networking’ inner Sydney services separately; MCSA to continue the WH&S and ECPO ‘transition to NQF’ road shows through regional networks. 2.3

Connect Mobile Service types and roles

The work here is to connect the different types of Mobile Services and the roles within Mobile Services. Mobiles can be categorised in any number of ways, the most useful being by region, by service type, by regulation and by funding source. MCSA has a long history of supporting Community Access Mobile Minder Services [CAMMS], a type of adjunct care service providing supervision in the immediate vicinity when parents are attending activities or training provided by other community services. These ten services are in Sydney, mainly western Sydney, and are critical service supports for local community service systems. The major participants in the Sydney Regional Network are CAMMS. MCSA is also re-developing the Voluntary Code of Practice for CAMMS. A specific time is set aside at Mobile Meets for Service Type meetings where common issues are discussed. Mobile Preschools, Mobile Playsession Services, Mobile Toy Library activities and Mobile Child Care Services are the major categories of service type. Specific times are set aside at Mobile Meet where the common issues of DEEWR funded and DEC funded services are discussed. MCSA recognises the important role of Administrator/Bookeepers in Mobile Services. Directors are usually out in the field and it is often the A/B who carries out much of the administrative work on complex issues in lonely and sometimes draughty offices. A specific time is set aside at Mobile Meet for networking and four A/B relevant workshops are held. MCSA has also resourced A/Bs’ through some ‘carryover’ funding by an Administrator’s Network Project Officer [ANPO], from 2008 to late 2011. Unfortunately, the skilled worker resigned and funds weren’t available to continue the ANPO role. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

2012/2013: MCSA to re-institute the work of the ANPO role; MCSA to finish the CAMMS Voluntary Code of Practice [VCOP]; MCSA to commence work on a VCOP for Mobile Playsession Services. 2.4

Promote Mobile Services and the Mobile Service model

The work here is to promote the ‘mobile model’ of service delivery and the work of Mobile Services – See later for PR about MCSA as an organisation. [i]

General

Everything that MCSA does has an eye on promoting the work of Mobile Services and the ‘mobile model’. Promotion is done through public policy work and the engagement of Government, departmental staff and our NFP partners in committees and delegations. Promotion is through engaging other agencies to resource Mobiles, through Mobile Meets and through having a web and social media presence. Electronic newsletters are made directly available to non-Mobile stakeholders. [ii]

Development of resources about Mobiles and the ‘mobile’ model

There are several key MCSA resources used in promotion:  The Introduction to Mobile Children’s Services is updated and distributed regularly as well as being on the website  MCSA maintains a Listing of Mobile Services in NSW which is made available to select agencies on request.  MCSA takes the map of service bases, roads and venues, developed at annual Mobile Meets, to meetings. Showing the map is a key device in illustrating where the services work.  MCSA develops an annual powerpoint of photos for Mobile Meet and distributes it on request – A picture paints a thousand words  MCSA has a Flickr photo-website  MCSA Google Map of non-metro service bases & CEYC base & venues.  MCSA uses the website and social media to best get a high listing on Google when searches are conducted for Mobile Services and MCSA MCSA had planned to redevelop an ancient document, A Profile of Mobile Children’s Services, describing many aspects of the work of 115 projects, but ran out of time and money. It takes time to survey, collate and report. Too much time! Even for a supreme leader. 2012/2013: MCSA to keep the Intro and Listings up to Flickr site up to date; MCSA to rework Google Map, Earth; MCSA to develop a social media engagement Facebook and Twitter; MCSA to redevelop A Profile Services;

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date; MCSA to keep perhaps use Google strategy to best use of Mobile Children’s


Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

[iii]

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Promotion to tertiary institutions

This is a core task in the ECPO role and is underlain by a long term staff recruitment strategy, to charge the imagination of students with the special nature of ECEC in Mobile Services. The EO had several conversations with academic staff of several institutions at conferences. Although many discussions were held there was only one presentation in 2011/2012  University of Newcastle Ourimbah Campus on 16.9.11 2012/2013: MCSA will deliver more presentations [iv]

Facilitating student placements at Mobile Services

This is a core task in the ECPO role. This is done in conjunction with the tertiary presentations and aims to help recruitment in the long term. Conversations were held with staff about suitable services for placements. 2012/2013: MCSA will continue with this task.

3.

Develop

Impact: Mobile Children’s Services are strong organisations and their people capable Objective: To provide support that builds the capacity of Mobile Service stakeholders to deliver good quality and well managed services This activity aims to directly support Mobile Services by a number of strategies as well as encourage the support of other agencies. The activity also supports communities developing new Mobile Services. Whilst MCSA can count coverage, who we worked with, and frequency, how often we worked with or did something, we still need to look at the effect the resourcing had: Did the resourcing lead to an increase in knowledge, skills, motivation, confidence and did these lead to action that made the service or staff stronger and more capable? See later for discussion about MCSA‘s effort in evaluating the effect of the Develop activity.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

3.1 Provide support, advice, information, referral, mentoring & trouble shooting The work here involves several resourcing strategies supporting on the range of governance, management & service delivery practices in Mobile Services. [i]

Freecall line supporting individual Mobile Service management and staff

This activity covers communication with individual Mobile Service stakeholders, management and staff. Communication is mainly by 1800 freecall and email. Whilst some issues are dealt with by information, referral and provision of resources, other issues are more complex and on-going. A crucial enabling factor for this work is the long-term and trusting relationship MCSA has with many Mobile Service Projects, allowing for deeper support of services and individual stakeholders over the long haul. Conversations are generated by both the services and MCSA staff. Conversations are two-way for knowledge and skill building, where MCSA staff are also kept informed about practice issues. Conversations lead to activity in other aspects of MCSA’s work: Advocacy, public policy, broadcasting information over elist, referral to training, Regional Networking, provision of MCSA and other agency’s resources and referral. Conversations may be one-off, job and done, or on-going on particular issues, such as intransigent IR issues, dealing with a regulation issue or finances. Some topics are more popular than others or emergent, often leading to MCSA applying other strategies to get information and resources to everyone, such as .pdf’s and weblinks via elist. There are 115 Mobile Service Projects sponsored by 73 organisations, some are Mobile Services only while many sponsors are larger organisations doing other things, mainly other types of ECEC services but also including councils. Some parts of the year are busier than others and some aspects of 1800 communication are more frequent: Organising Mobile Meet; Organising training, including MCSA training; Supporting the Regional Network organising the Mobile Meet; Working with MCSA Committee members on MCSA business – Also seen as a governance & management modeling exercise. All these activities are about knowledge, skill building, confidence and motivation. Resourcing on Early Childhood practices included: Floods; Emergency Procedures; Speech pathology; NQF; Regulation; Venue management; qualifications; NQS, EYLF; Service philosophy; Smoking at playsession; Study leave, Nutrition; Nappy changing, Many health issues, Sun Safety; Contact details for various; Reviews; Child Protection; Training; Transition to school; Nominated Supervisor role; Supervisor Certificates; etc. Resourcing on governance and management practices included: WH&S, IR; Funding administration; Budgeting; Service development; Business planning; Funding sources; Reviews; Conflict of interest; Training; ECT cost contribution scheme; DEC data collection; Lunch breaks; etc.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

This section is where we capture most of the information on the extent of MCSA’s effort with individual service stakeholders [ie: MCSA broadcasts email to the 115 projects but not all engage with MCSA]: Coverage and frequency. Through individual phone calls and email, MCSA worked directly with 105 of the 115 projects [At peak] and communicated 1074 times in 2011/2012. This does not include the work of the Regional Representatives in organising network meeting meetings or workshops or just catching up. 2012/2013: MCSA will: Continue with the 1800 support; [ii]

Fieldwork

Supporting services through fieldwork, visiting services and attending network meetings, is highly valued by the services and good training for MCSA staff. Fieldwork in 2011/2012 was significant:  Hunter Region MMOC for 2011: 19.7.11; 22.8.11; 23.11.11: These meets involved several services: Lower Hunter Mobile Preschool, Cessnock Mobile Preschool, Upper Hunter Mobile, Singleton Mobile Preschool, Flying Fox Mobile Preschool, Port Stephens Activity van, KU Children’s Services Mobile, Maitland.  Northern Region MMOC for 2012: at Bingara on 28.10.11; 24.2.12; 23.3.12; Coffs Harbour on 1.6.12. These meets involved three days each of travel to and from MCSA’s Hunter Valley base. These meets involved several services: Gubi Gabun, Gwydir Mobile, Tharawonga Mobile, Northern Roads Activity Van, Connect 5, Ooranga Family Services.  Regional Network Meetings: Seven meetings from Penrith to Bourke. See Section 2.2 above. These meeting involved many services: Community Access Care Pair, Penrith; Holroyd/Parramatta Mobile Minders, Young Mobile, Mountains Mobile Minders, Blue Mountains Occasional Child Care, Hawkesbury Community Outreach Service, Blacktown Bunyip, WOMPS, Blacktown Roving Child Care; Fairfield Roving Child Care, Cowra Mobile ECEC, Galloping Gumnut, Care West Mobiles, Lachlan Mobile Children’s Services, Weddin Mobile Preschool,  Cobar Mobile at Cobar venue: 14 & 15.7.11  Bogan Bush Mobile, Nyngan: 16.7.11  Wollondilly Mobile Preschool, Picton: 25 & 29.7.11; 30.4.12 at Wilton venue  Galloping Gumnut: 25.1.12 – WH&S training at Katoomba  Community Early Years Childcare, Albury: 30 & 31.1.12 – WH&S and manual handling training  Puggles, Tumbarumba: i.2.12 for WH&S training; 2.2.12 visit to Humula and Cabramurra venues  Bourke Mobile: 22.3.12 and 23.3.12 – WH&S training  Paroo Mobile, Wanaaring; At Bourke on 23.2.12 meeting – WH&S training  Deniliquin Mobile: 4-8.6.12 including WH&S and manual Handling training and visit to Conargo venue  Urana Shire Mobile at Urana venue: 7.6.12  Hawkesbury Community Outreach Services, Kurrajong: 22.6.12 2012/2013: Mobile Meet 2013 organising will be in the Central West [?]; The WH&S roadshow will go west, New England and Riverina plus individual services as requested. All Sydney and Hunter Region Network meetings will be attended. The north coast shall be thoroughly visited by the EO, subject to arthritic constraints. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

[iii]

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Electronic communication to Mobile Services

Communicating electronically through MCSA’s ‘Mobiles on email’ email distribution list [elist] is MCSA’s best way of getting a massive amount of information to many service stakeholders on a broad range of policy and practice issues. What services do with this information is up to them, however, the eletters/ebulletins generate a lot of responses for MCSA staff to clarify or chase up, including comment on MCSA’s requests for information and responses to consultations on policy issues. All Mobile Services are on the elist as is any email address provided by a Mobile Service stakeholder. Ebulletins are also sent to Regional Mobile Service Network elists. Updating elists is a bloody nightmare, now ably maintained by St Lauren. The strategy is to pepper the services with short, limited scope emails [ebulletins] as well as provide more substantial monthly eletters. Electronic broadcasts are in the form of 2 to 3 weekly ebulletins provided by the ECPO, larger monthly Early Childhood Practice eletters and regular ebulletins by the EO on public policy issues, especially regulation and funding. The EO’s ebulletins were less regular but substantial, mainly covering information & strategy on policy issues. Most eletters had a document attached or included a reference to a website. The Administrator Network Project Officer also provided regular bulletins and monthly eletters, until the role was put on hold in mid-2011. One hundred and seven [107] ebulletins were provided by the ECPO in 2011/2012 and 11 monthly eletters on a broad range of subjects:  Useful resources on practice issues such as EYLF, medical issues, programming, parent role at playsession, WH&S equipment, speech support, safe food  Workshops, seminars, conferences and RTO training provided by resourcing partners [See below]  Supporting the work of the Mobile Meet Organising Committee inc. progressive information on the development of the Mobile Meet  Updates on Mobile Meet  Jobs in Mobiles  Regional network meetings  Regional Mobile Service training  Requests for information and resources on various practices Twenty six [26] bulletins were provided by the EO:  Preschool funding inc. data collections, back payments, funding system changes, Brennan Review, discussion paper/consultation paper/submission  Regulation of Mobile Services inc. several regulation reviews [And cycles of consultation and submission], Nominated Supervisor roles, Supervisor Certificates, the work of co-ordinators, NQF transition strategy, 50% ondeck rule for NS’s mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

 Development of the NQF including discussion paper/Exposure draft/consultation paper/submission cycles, forwarding DEC’s NQF Bulletins; ACEQA resources, NQF resources and legislation  The roll-out of new WH&S legislation including pdf’s on law & Codes of Practice  General: Floods, emergency procedures, MCSA requests for information and resources on various practices, Jobs in Mobiles, broadcast of MCSA governance and management resources, updates on Mobile Meet, National Wage Case decision, MCSA’s AGM and membership material Monthly ECPO eletters are also on the website. The Mobiles on Email Elist has 140 email addresses. 2012/2013: MCSA will: Continue with ebulletins and eletters; Put more effort into admin/governance/management practice resourcing; Encourage more individual Mobile Service stakeholders onto the e-list, especially management committee members. [iv]

Electronic newsletters to non-Mobile Service stakeholders

MCSA also has an MCSA General Broadcast Elist of many different types of stakeholders who are not peppered/spammed with ebulletins, receive monthly ECPO eletters and most of the public policy material of the EO noted above. The aim is to both keep MCSA’s partners up to date about Mobile Services, the day to day practices and public policy, as well as for PR.  Staff from the regions and head offices of various departments including FACS, DEC and DEEWR. MCSA re-broadcasts their material as well.  Mainly executive staff from resourcing and peak agencies interested in MCSA’s policy work. MCSA also re-broadcasts their policy and resourcing/training material. There are 82 email addresses on this list. 2012/2013: MCSA to: Continue with eletters and ebulletins; MCSA to encourage greater use of this strategy by all partners. [v]

Social media

This covers being on as many social media platforms as possible & efficient. The current aims are to provide information as a supplement to ebulletins/eletters, act as PR and drive people to MCSA’s website or give us a call. The possibility of using social media for two way communication has not been considered yet. The ECEC sector isn’t particularly up to social media.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Facebook MCSA uses a Facebook ‘page’ to provide a flow of information on topical issues. Facebook pages provide a relatively more lasting and accessible record on people’s streams compared to Twitter. ‘Pages’ do not have ‘friends’ and don’t get informed about the four hanky relationship event on the weekend. Comment, liking and sharing on the ‘page’ is currently minimal. MCSA needs to develop a strategy to deal with the time when this becomes a major two-way communication vehicle. MCSA’s own Facebook account is used as a news stream, much as we subscribe to other agencies’ eletters: MCSA assesses the information and retransmits. Mobiles are slowly getting their own ‘pages’, something for MCSA to resource on as, well, younger parents are hip to social media, man. MCSA has nearly 50 friends on its ‘page’ and facebooked 102 times in 2011/2012. Usage data suggests that generally 35 out of the 50 view every post and some posts go ‘viral’ with the record being 127 views in 2011/2012. Twitter MCSA uses Twitter [ http://twitter.com/#!/mcsansw ] to also provide a flow of information on topical issues. However, Twitter is a more instantaneous and ephemeral form of communication, usually with a huge and fast flow of information on breaking issues. Staff in the sector usually have children in front of them so the flow can only be accessed when off the floor and then other things are more important. There are no Mobiles on MCSAs’ Twitter stream. Fortunately, MCSA doesn’t have to do much work on this as we use an app that loads to both Facebook and Twitter, saving time. Some data for 11/12: MCSA follows 251 and has 231 followers. We have tweeted 590 times from day 1, including our Retweets [Approx 20%] of other twits stuff. There, I said it! We have had minimal Retweets of our stuff. Blogs MCSA also posts many of the eletters and ebulletins to Posterous [ http://mcsa.posterous.com/ ], a simple blog complementing the ‘blog like’ ‘front page’ articles of MCSA’s website [Where there is no ability to comment on MCSA’s articles]. Posterous has been a step too far as MCSA’s time for upload and maintenance is short, let alone the time that would be needed to respond to and moderate comments. Evaluating effect and reach is difficult [Damn you web-crawlers!]. To be reconsidered. Some data for 11/12: There are 39 posts and 4597 views so far [From start to May 2012], although we don’t know who viewed and for what purpose. MCSA has a static page on Blogspot that refers to MCSA’s website [ http://mcsanswinc.blogspot.com.au/ ]. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

MCSA employed a Communications and Information Management Officer [CIM] with some carryover funds to set-up and manage these platforms and the website etc. last decade. Unfortunately, these funds ran out and ‘core’ MCSA staff have taken up the extra work. Any ‘surplus’ funds should bring back the CIM or parts thereof. One of the difficult issues is getting meaningful data about who is using MCSA’s media and for what purpose. There are apps available to track. Overall, MCSA has dipped its toe into the world of social media, establishing a presence. The EO is not impressed by the evil chimps who invented the damn things: Why not just focus have telex, telegrams and email subscriptions? Measuring the effect and reach of these platforms has been difficult. Having a ‘presence’ is an initial step. MCSA needs to develop a social media strategy. 2012/2013: MCSA to continue a minimalist approach to social media until a social media strategy is developed and MCSA is able to use the media more effectively, measure the value of the work, work out who is accessing the media and for what purpose and commit staff time to a quality effort and possible use as two way communication platforms. [vi]

Electronic discussion groups

MCSA developed a web-based discussion platform [Joomla Add-on] through MCSA’s Administrators Network Project in 2010/2011, trialing it and going live to in early 2011. This Project had developed a devout following of service ‘administrators’ over a number of years – A good prospect for this strategy. The original idea was to test the discussion group concept for later application to a number of MCSA’s projects and issues such as supporting the introduction of the National Quality Framework. It is crucial that this type of communication platform is well resourced and moderated as two-way information and communication strategies. It is a major resourcing, mutual support and communication vehicle and a big effort – See the NSW Preschool Campaign Group’s Yahoo egroup. Unfortunately, the Project’s staff member resigned mid-2011 and funds to continue the Project weren’t available for all 2011/2012. So, the platform never really got going. MCSA also needs to review the web-based nature of the platform and its complexity and perhaps institute a simpler discussion group such as Yahoo egroup or Google Group or Google+ approach, maybe even Facebook. 2012/2013: MCSA to prioritise the continued development of an egroup; Focus to be admin if funds available and ‘Transition to the NQF’ as part of the ECPO role.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

[vii] Website This work covers the update and maintenance of MCSA’s website as a communication vehicle and as a strategy for disseminating MCSA’s resources. Content is king and fresh content is kingier [Pity about Kate and Tom breaking up – Royal weddings cost a fortune]. Key aspects of the website supplement other MCSA resourcing and communication strategies:  Blog like front-page articles, updated on major issues  Hosting of ECPO eletters, on-going, EO ebulletins to mid-2011 [Most of these put on website front page after November 2011] & Admin Network eletters to mid-2011; These are also emailed  Jobs in Mobiles  Phone and email contacts for MCSA  Links to MCSA’s Flickr site, Facebook page, Twitter and Posterous blog  Hosting a large number of MCSA’s governance and management resources and the Admin Network Project’s resources from MCSA and other agencies.  Information on Mobile Meet and the operations of regional networks  Hosting of MCSA’s public policy submissions  Hosting of MCSA’s governance material including Annual Report excerpts  MCSA calendar The website was set up by the short-term Communication and Information Management [CIM] role and has been operated by core staff since early 2011, an issue as time available and skills to update and maintain are problematic. It was hoped that there would be some funds for the CIM role to continue: Staff provide ‘copy’ for the CIM to upload. MCSA has had trouble with the security of the site making updating complex and time consuming [Involving editing files in cPanel – Fraught with problems]. As such, updates have been irregular. The EO reworked the website in 2011/2012 to drop off components that weren’t working or were in development and note receiving attention. MCSA has also found it difficult working out who is accessing the site, how often, who is downloading material and how often and for what purpose. The data provided on site usage through Joomla Article Manager, cPanel webstats and DocMan isn’t fine enough to judge effect and coverage. MCSA ‘s website is ‘good enough’.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Following are some indicators of usage: Month July 2011 Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Jan 2012 Feb Mar Apr May June Totals

Unique visitors 1754 1625 1156 0? 772 959 1527 1314 1282 1323 1503 1079 NA

Jobs on Mobiles 0 0 0 0 2 x 1025 hits 0 0 2 x 1385 hits 2 x 156 hits 0 0 0 6 Jobs

Front Page articles 0 1 x 192 0 1 x 996 2 x 2328 0 1 x 1058 hits 2x 1522 hits 2 x 2123 hits 2 x 390 hits 1 x 137 hits 0 12 articles

Data on the 158 resources uploaded to the website, word and pdf’s, is hard to access without going painstakingly through DocMan. Both MCSA and other agencies’ resources are uploaded. A good indicator of usage is the list of the top 50 downloads provided by DocMan. Forty nine of the 50 are MCSA resources. In the top 50, uploads to date range from 5445, MCSA - Level of Risk and Risk Priority Rating Scale, to 3002, MCSA - Sample New Employee Form Checklist. At 4247 is MCSA – Introduction to Mobile Children’s Services. Other MCSA resources include: A Statement of Duty of Care [5377]; Sample Operational Manual Index [5294]; Office Procedures index [4957]; Sample Filing System [4880]; Formats for various reports to committee [3,000 mark]; Bookkeeper Financial Calendar [3020]. Many of these resources are not downloaded but ‘viewed’. Of the 158 resources, 66 have over 3,000 views and 12 have over 4,000 views up to a top of 5,445 views [MCSA - Level of risk …] This data shows that there is a demand for simple how to and join the dot resources. Unfortunately, MCSA doesn’t know who is downloading these and for what purpose. The medium term plan is for a member log-in and access to MCSA generated resources, which are currently free on the site [PR strategy]. The long-term plan is a subscription based log-in [ie: Paid subscription] for non-Mobiles to access resources on the site. MCSA has been ably supported by TRI Community Exchange on site maintenance and trouble shooting.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

2012/2013: MCSA to: Update more regularly – Fresh content; Sort security issues, even changing hosts; Encourage more use of Jobs on Mobiles section; Access better data on usage; Redesign the website for a cleaner look; Plan for member only log-in and access to MCSA generated materials; Explore subscriptions by non-Mobiles to MCSA generated resources on site; Allocate funds to the CIM role if available. [viii] Support of out-of-state Mobiles This work covers the support MCSA provides to out-of-NSW Mobile Services. MCSA is the only organisation funded in Australia to comprehensively resource Mobile Services. It is an easy matter to:  Broadcast ebulletins and eletters to out-of-state Mobiles on elists  Provide places at Mobile Meets [On a full cost recovery basis]  Provide MCSA’s own resources for free MCSA also supports by phone and email to a limited extent. This support is often about public policy development and how NSW Mobiles deal with it, such as the development and roll-out of the NQF – See work with NAMS in previous section. MCSA supported four out-of-state Mobiles in 2011/2012, one at depth as the service set up. The transition of out-of-scope Mobile Services throughout Australia to the NQF and the current review of DEEWR’s Budget Based Funding Program throughout Australia [20 Mobiles?] may require more MCSA support, however, this would have to be funded. Submissions have been submitted, previously. Build on MCSA’s work! 2011/2012: MCSA to maintain support and consider opportunities arising from the need to resource Budget Based Funding Mobiles throughout Australia on the transition to the NQF and roll-out of new WH&S legislation. [ix]

Support of organisations developing Mobile Services

This covers the support of currently non-Mobile organisations as they consider the concept of ‘mobile’ or are further along and developing a Mobile. MCSA supported several organisations on the concept. MCSA also very actively supported several organisations as they moved to develop or transition to a Mobile Service, including ones in the Northern Territory and North Coast NSW. The Brennan Review of NSW ECE funding may provide more work in this area as there may be new Mobile Services and some centre-based services may transition to Mobile. Some Mobiles may transition to centre-based as well. 2012/2013: MCSA to continue support of developing Mobiles; MCSA to contribute to public policy to value ‘mobility’ as a good access strategy.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

3.2

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Provide resources developed by other agencies

The work here complements the freecall direct support and distribution of MCSA’s own resources by providing relevant resources and information developed by other agencies and Mobile Services. This is usually through attachments or weblink in ebulletins/eletters [144 in 2011/2012!] or sent separately after an enquiry. [i]

General provision of resources developed by other agencies

MCSA maintains a policy bank of policies sent by other agencies and Mobiles that is drawn on for distribution. Sometimes MCSA seeks the information from sources, other times the source asks that the information be distributed. Sources included:  Government Departments/Agencies: DEC; ACECQA; DEEWR; WorkCover NSW; NCAC; NSW Health; Fair Trading; Hunter New England Health; Office of Industrial Relations; FWA; Safe Work Australia; SES; NSW Fire Brigade; Victorian Government; Various universities  Resourcing agencies: Children’s Services Central; Community Child Care Co-op NSW; Community Connections Solutions Australia; ARACY; ECTARC; ECA; NSW Cancer Council; Royal Life Saving Society; Raising Children Network Topics included:  EC Practices: Transition to NQF; Numerous health issues, EYLF; National Quality Standard; Sunsmart; Supported playgroups; Pool safety, Flood advice; Emergency procedures; Service Philosophy; Nutrition; Smoking at play group; Training, extensively; Resources; DEC advice on regulation matters;  Governance & Management practices: IR system, National Wage Case; Gender Equity Case; Study leave; Parents at Playsessions; Falls; Sign language; Infant & vegetables; EC equipment; Childhood obesity; DV; Immunisation; Whooping cough; Medication; Grandparents; Reward charts; Preschool funding data collection; Jobs on Mobiles; Incorporation; WH&S Codes of Practice; Model rules of incorporation;  Public policy: Regulation: National and NSW; Transition to NQF; Funding: Mostly NSW; ECT funding; Cluster Management; Funding guidelines; Review Discussion Papers; MCSA Consultation Papers; MCSA submissions; Indigenous Child Care Choices; Working Together; NFP Regulation; Grants administration; The above is an extensive list of partner agencies as well as resources and information on a huge array of issues. 2012/2013: MCSA to: Continue providing a wide range of material; Continue engaging with sources to send their material; Continue to advise Mobiles and non-Mobiles about the elists; Focus on support of the transition to NQF;

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

[ii]

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Collations: Packages of resources developed by other agencies

Whilst MCSA gathers together and distributes many individual resources on a range of general practices developed by other agencies or Mobiles, there are practices that are of more concern/interest, so MCSA pulls together a ‘collection of vetted resources’, as electronic documents, on these specific practices: Collations. MCSA has an enormous library of material, electronic and hard-copy. Collations are often the precursor of the development of Mobile specific resources developed by MCSA: Critical practices that need a ‘mobile’ rather than generic treatment. Current collations include: Venue Check Lists; Parent Information Brochures; Conflict of Interest; Funding sources; FWA – NES; WH&S Graphics, Manual Handling Policies; Audit Preparation checklists; Collations developed in 2011/2012: Sample Parent Surveys; WH&S Legislation and Codes of Practice; Funding Sources; This represents only a small amount of activity. The transition to the NQF will intensify in 2012/2013. MCSA will pull together more collations on specific practices such as philosophy, hygiene, food handling; medication, toileting, emergency drills. Cataloguing and collating are time consuming. MCSA has begun work on a better filing system and a searchable system. 2012/2013: MCSA will: Develop/re-develop collations: Develop EYLF and NQS collations; Develop a National Children’s Services legislation collation; Develop an Emergency Planning collation; Add to WH&S collations; Refine information management. 3.3

Develop & distribute Mobile Service specific resources

The work here drills down deeper on the provision of resources by developing Mobile specific resources on the more critical practices in Mobile Service work. [i]

Photos

A picture paints a thousand words. MCSA maintains a photo website [Flickr] that showcases the various aspects of Mobile Service work: Country, roads, bases, venues, vehicles, storage etc. The work of MCSA and Mobile Meets are also displayed in sets [ http://www.flickr.com/ ]. Most photos are provided by MCSA. MCSA limits the taking and/or uploading of photos of children and parents as it is difficult to organise the permissions required for the various use and media: Flickr, website, powerpoints etc. The photos are also used in MCSA’s various powerpoints for PR, especially at the Mobile Meet.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

The task of maintaining the site is the EO’s. Time constraints have made this task difficult in 2011/2012 and, although there are plenty of uploaded photos, the Flickr site hasn’t got the ‘fresh content’ that electronic media demands. Only 30 new photos were uploaded in 2011/2012, even though many more photos were taken. These remain unedited. In 2011/2012, MCSA tagged many existing and all new Flickr photos into new sets for the Regional Networks and individual Mobile Services. Little effort was put into promoting the site, although it is linked to through all MCSA emails and the website. Following are the site statistics: The key data is photo and set view totals Category Items Photo-site views totals

Set views: Roads & Country Set views: Venues Set views: Vehicles Set views: Mobile Bases Set views: Storage Set views: MCSA Stuff Set Views: Central West Set Views: Hunter Set Views: Northern Set Views: North Coast Set Views: Riverina/Murray Set Views: Southern Set Views: Sydney Set Views: Western Set Views: Towns with bases Set Views: Bogan Bush Mobile Set Views: Bourke Mobile Set Views: Cobar Mobile Set Views: CEYC Mobile Set Views: Cowra Mobile Set Views: Galloping Gumnut Set Views: Goonimoo Set Views: Hay Mobile Set Views: Monaro Mobile Set Views: Outback , BH Set Views: Mobile Meets

Views Photos: 606 photos with 30 more in 2011/2012; Videos: 1, only 1 Total of 22,665 views: +6288 x 11/12 Photos/videos: Total 17616; +5542 in 11/12 Photostream: Total 3568; +535 x 11/12 Photosets: Total ; +201 in 11/12 217 photos: 293 total/+11 views x11/12 116 photos: 154 total views/+14 x11/12 61 Photos: 299 total views/+19 x 11/12 83 photos: 65 total views/+1 x11/12 23 photos: 77 total views/+8 x11/12 81 photos; 75 total views/+1 x11/12 28 photos: 22 views x 11/12 30 photos: 15 views x 11/12 45 photos: 4 views x 11/12 14 photos; 0 views x 11/12 73 photos; 12 views x 11/12 36 photos: 1 view x 11/12 22 photos; 3 views x 11/12 118 photos: 33 views x 11/12 12 photos: 1 view x 11/12 7 photos: 0 Views x 11/12 12 photos: 4 views x 11/12 45 photos: 38 views x 11/12 17 photos: 1 view x 11/12 18 photos: 19 views x 11/12 15 photos: 56 views x 11/12 4 photos: 4 views x 11/12 4 photos: 0 views x 11/12 21 photos: 2 views x 11/12 12 photos: 8 views x 11/12 72 photos: 148 views x total to date

Overall, there was little effort put into the site in 11/12 and this shows in the photo views and set views data. More needs to be done to advertise the site and more needs to be done to keep the material fresh. Nevertheless, even though not fresh, there are a lot of photos and these provide a good visual account of the work of Mobile Services. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

MCSA also has some video material. Time is too short to be able to edit this material to a good standard for Youtube or Vimeo upload. Mañana! 2012/2013: MCSA to: Keep the site fresh; Fret over the real need to do video and audio [Podcasts]. [ii]

Resources developed by MCSA

There are a number of practices where the generic resources provided by other agencies aren’t enough and a deeper, Mobile Service specific treatment is required. MCSA staff develop these resources. This is very time consuming, however, they target critical issues and often form the framework through which services are coached or mentored or supported at depth – Trouble shooting. As well, they form the basis of workshops developed and presented by MCSA: For example, Business Planning and venue management. These resources are usually disseminated through both ‘Mobiles on Email’ and ‘General Broadcast’ elists as well as to individual services after discussions, at MCSA workshops and are mostly on the website for download – Some have been viewed and downloaded thousands of times – See later. Some resources provide a join-the-dot exercise where MCSA supports and comments on the process and product: Business Plans: Budgets; Venue Management Plans; Current MCSA Resources: Business Plan Full; Business Planning Lite; Sample Action Plan; Sample Budget Spreadsheet; Venue Management System with samples; Practices and Strategic Issues in Mobiles; Submissions; Consultation Papers; Annual Reports; MCSA PR Powerpoints; Google Map; EC Equipment for Mobiles; Base and Office Equipment for Mobiles; Sample Decision Making Protocol; Definition of Governance; CAMMS Voluntary Code of Practice [VCOP]; Flowcharts of Planning & Evaluation Cycle and Financial Cycle. MCSA resources developed in 2011/2012: WH&S General Workshop; WH&S Manual handling Workshop; MCSA restarted the redevelopment of the CAMMS VCOP after the National Quality Standard [NQS] was finalised in late 2011. Once completed, it can provide a format for a VCOP for Playsession Mobiles. These two service types do not have a quality framework and the EYLF and NQS provide this. MCSA also researched publishing formats for resources including Issuu and Scribd. These resources form the framework for the delivery of MCSA’s workshops – See later. Current MCSA workshops: Introduction to WH&S; WH&S – Manual handling; Service Planning and Evaluation; Governance and Management; Risk Management; Introduction to the NQF – Service philosophy;

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

MCSA received copyright fees of nearly $20,000 in 2011/2012 for a keynote at a Mobile Meet being used as a resource at a university. MCSA hasn’t been able to finalise the ownership of the copyright for this. MCSA needs to sort this issue as well decide the form of copyright resources will be under: Creative Commons non-Commercial? 2012/2013: MCSA to: Decide on copyright issues; Develop an Implementing the NQF Workshop with focus on EYLF and NQS; Re-develop WH&S resources including workshops – Venue Management – Manual Handling: Managing Fatigue; Redevelop Business Planning resources in light of Brennan Review [NSW – DEC] and BBF Review [Feds – DEEWR]; Finish VCOP for CAMMS and develop a VCOP for Playsession Mobile Services; Publish with Issuu. 3.4

Work with other agencies in support of Mobile Services

The work here covers engaging other agencies to resource Mobile Services including trouble shooting, resources and training as well as working with them on the particular issues of individual Mobile Services. The network of peaks & resourcing agencies in NSW has been highly supportive of Mobile Services and have played a huge part in their success. Many agencies also provide significant support in the delivery of Mobile Meet – See later. Whilst MCSA works with a host of resourcing agencies [See information and resources provided by eletters, resource collations above and Mobile Meet presenters], there are several we work with very closely. MCSA major resourcing partnerships in 2011/2012 were:  Children’s Services Central: Partnership on the provision of training and resources  Community Connections Solutions Australia: Partnership on the provision of training as well as public policy development and their direct support on IR, administration, governance and management. This often involves working together in support of individual agencies.  Community Child Care Co-op: Partnership on the provision of training, resources and development of public policy  Contact Inc: Partnership on the support of the Regional Networks and individual Mobile Services plus public policy development. This often involves working together in support of individual Mobiles. 2012/2013: MCSA to continue with this approach; MCSA to ensure all resource agencies are aware of MCSA’s work in promoting their work with Mobile Services.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

3.5

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Facilitate provision of training to Mobile Services by other agencies

The work here involves getting Mobile Services to training provided by other agencies. This is a core task of the ECPO role. An initial aspect of this work is the development of a Training and Resourcing Needs Report by the ECPO, published in March each year, which informs much activity including the Mobile Meet. [i]

Provide information on training, in general

The work here is to provide information about training of any type including one-off training, workshops, webinars, information sessions, traineeships, university degrees and certificates offered by RTO’s. The main activity is sending information through the eletters/ebulletins elist as well as Regional Network elists. Information in 2011/2012 focused on training provided by many agencies, including government agencies, but in particular: ACECQA; Cancer Council; Children’s Services Central; Community Child Care Co-op NSW; Community Solutions Australia; Commission for Children and Young People; Contact Inc; DEC; ECA on NQF; ECTARC; Kids and Traffic; Lady Gowrie; Office of Industrial Relations; Universities and TAFE’s; Many of these agencies provide workshops and displays at Mobile Meet. Some agencies are restricted in their provision to Mobile Services funded from specific sources, such as by DEEWR. DEC has often funded Community Child Care Co-op/Children’s Services Central to stretch DEEWR’s Professional Support program funding to all state funded ECEC services. The big picture on the Early Childhood Development workforce needs to be considered. The NQF provides some challenges for all ECEC services in that staff will eventually need various certificates, diplomas or degrees or be working towards. MCSA is encouraging services to get their staff trained to the NQF standard before we become in-scope for the NQF. They are good standards anyway. DEEWR’s employment division also has a brief to facilitate the development of the ECEC workforce as part of the National Early Years Workforce Strategy. MCSA should connect with this. The Productivity Commission has also released their ECD Workforce Study Report, also part of DEEWR’s National Early Years Workforce Strategy. It is full of pertinent information, particularly access to resourcing and training in regional and remote areas. MCSA should connect with this report and any subsequent policy development and roll out of programs. 2012/2013: MCSA to: Ensure resourcing partners are aware of MCSA’s information task; Facilitate DEEWR’s employment initiatives; Track and support the application of the PC’s ECD Workforce Study/National Early Years Workforce Strategy.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

[ii]

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Facilitate training to services & Regional Networks by other agencies

The work here is a further drilling down on the provision of training, facilitating other agencies to provide information and training to individual services and Regional Networks. MCSA has funds available to facilitate training at Regional Network meetings. The main activity is referring agencies to individual services and networks as the opportunity arises. Several agencies presented to individual services and at Regional Network meetings throughout the year including the Benevolent Society, Contact Inc., Kerry Little, Hunter Prelude, Kid Safe, Because it Matters. Several RTO’s provided certified training to service staff, inc. Certificate III. 2012/2013: MCSA to facilitate access to first-aid training; Advise networks that the ECPO can research and facilitate training to network meetings; MCSA to consider providing the Mobile Services contact list and Regional Network contact list to select agencies to facilitate connections. [iii]

Facilitate individual support to access other agencies

The work here is a further drilling down on the provision of training, building on the individual relationships MCSA has with service staff, directly supporting individual service staff to connect to agencies. This has been limited in effect, perhaps a bridge too far with time constraints. Some staff have been connected to Universities to pursue degrees or agencies to pursue certification. 2012/2013: MCSA to continue this task; Advise services that the ECPO can research training options for individual staff. 3.6

MCSA provision of training to Mobile Services

The work here covers MCSA providing training to individual Mobile Services and the Regional Networks as well as facilitating the Mobile Meet. The annual Training and Resourcing Needs Report informs the content. [i]

Provide MCSA training to Regional Mobile Service Networks

The EO and ECPO share this task. Providing training at Regional Network meetings is an effective way to provide knowledge and skills [In some workshops] and facilitate the mutual support and collaboration that networking induces. In some respects, MCSA workshops are about a ‘road show’ focused on getting services on board and on the same page about critical issues. Workshops are targeted at critical practices where a Mobile Service specific rather than general approach is warranted. For 2011/2012, the EO targeted the new WH&S legislation as warranting special support.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

MCSA staff provided the following training in 2011/2012:     

Introduction to the NQF at Hunter Regional in 6.3.12 by ECPO Introduction to WH&S at Western Region Network on 23.3.12 by EO Introduction to WH&S at Sydney Region Network on 1.5.12 by EO Introduction to WH&S at Hunter Region Network on 6.5.12 by EO Introduction to WH&S at Central West Region Network on 22.5.12 by EO

2012/2013: MCSA will: Run further WH&S workshops including developing and delivering Venue Management, Risk Management and Management of Fatigue workshops; Redevelop service planning workshops focused on the results of the Brennan Review of NSW ECE funding; Develop ECPO workshops on practices relevant to the transition to the NQF. [ii]

Provide MCSA training to individual Mobile Services

The EO and ECPO share this task. MCSA staff provided the following training in 2011/2012:      

Introduction to WH&S at Galloping Gumnut on 25.1.12 by EO Manual Handling to CEYC on 30.1.12 by EO Introduction to WH&S to CEYC on 31.1.12 by EO Introduction to WH&S to Puggles Mobile on 1.2.12 by EO Introduction to WH&S to Deniliquin Children’s Services on 5.6.12 by EO Manual Handling to Deniliquin Mobile on 6.6.12 by EO

Thanks to Galloping Gumnut for trailing the re-developed WH&S workshop. 2012/2013: MCSA to provide workshops to individual Mobiles on request [iii]

Facilitate Mobile Meet in conjunction with Regional Networks

Mobile Meets are MCSA’s annual conference, offering 3 days of full-on conferencing. This is a core task in the ECPO role with support by EO on governance and management issues. An enormous amount of time and energy is spent organising the Mobile Meet by the Regional Network organizing committee [MMOC] and the ECPO as well as support from the Admin/Bookkeeper during registrations. Mobile Meets generate the highest amount of contact with Mobile Services. This also generates conversations and resourcing on other matters. So resources intensive; So beneficial. The Mobile Meet incorporates a number of resourcing strategies including information, advice, referral, accessing resources, networking at the Meet and during its development, training, input into public policy and connecting to policy makers, industry displays, massed choreographed dancing, service type meetings, regional meetings, mutual support, connecting to other resource agencies, and a big amount of PR to many stakeholders. Plus MCSA’s AGM. For Mobile Services, Mobile Meet is both a celebration of what they do and a reward for a hard year’s work. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

The work involves several activities:  The MMOC acts as a sub-committee of MCSA. MCSA oversees and undertakes governance responsibilities  Researching and costing a venue in a regional area: Accommodation, meals and training rooms with IT  Developing the program around a professional theme  Costing the entire program  Deciding on up to 24 workshop topics, based on MCSA’s annual Training & Resourcing Needs Report & important, often breaking, strategic issues  Securing funding from DEEWR. DEC already partially funds the Mobile Meet as a subsidy from the Mobiles Resourcing Project  Organising speakers and presenters, meeting their needs  Registration  Deciding what to wear at the conference dinner: Weird but not illegal  Industry displays  Evaluation  Accountability MCSA endeavours to have the major resourcing and training agencies provide training at Mobile Meet or at least mount a display, aiming to cement their relationships with Mobiles. Hunter Region organised Mobile Meet 2011 at Ettalong, meeting many times on this 3,000 step journey that begins even before the previous Mobile Meet finishes – See Regional Network data. Number of NSW Mobile Services/Projects Number of participants from the above mentioned services Number of NSW Government funded Mobile Services Number of Participants from NSW funded services Number of Federally funded Mobile Services Number of Participants from Federally funded services Number of State and Federally co-funded Mobile Services Number of Participants from co-funded services Number of Interstate Federally funded Mobile Services Number of other attendees*

42 163 26 83 11 59 4 21 3 52

Northern Region has organised Mobile meet 2012 at Coffs Harbour, meeting many times – See Regional Network data. Both regions have done an exemplary job in putting on what was and will be a fantastic experience. 2012/2013: MCSA to: Rinse, repeat; Rework Mobile Meet policy to clarify MMOC, MCSA staff and MCSA Committee roles; Central West 2013?

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

4.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

MCSA Governance and Management

Impact: MCSA is a strong organisation and stakeholders are capable Objective: Facilitate governance and management tasks of MCSA The role here is to support the governance and management of the Association across many responsibilities and tasks. MCSA Management Committee members are located throughout the state and busy in their own Mobile Service. They are not in a situation to directly carry out MCSA’s management tasks and need support in their governance role. The Executive Officer leads MCSA’s management, such as meetings, funding submissions, insurances, financials, annual reports & corporate returns and budgets. MCSA’s Admin/Bookkeeper carries out many tasks up to but not including final approvals. The majority of the management tasks are well practiced & easily followed by experienced committee members. 4.1

Support the operations of MCSA’s Management Committee

This work here covers facilitating the operations of MCSA’s Management Committee including the direct operations of the MCSA Management Committee: Communication, decision making, meetings, sub-committees, induction, succession planning, complaints and grievance processes.      

 

The 2012 AGM saw a good turnover of Committee Members, with new members being supported by the remaining experienced members. The Project organised committee meetings and teleconferences, wrote up and handled correspondence and provided reports. Catch-ups were held by email between meetings. Only one teleconference was held, in September 2011, focused on succession planning and final preparations for the following week’s Mobile Meet and AGM. Well attended residential meetings were held at Mt Wilson in November 2011, Belmont in March 2012 and Ettalong in June 2012. All committee members are on e-mail, so that the organisation of meetings and distribution of reports is a simple matter. Monthly correspondence lists and financial reports are also e-mailed. Correspondence lists are normally e-mailed each month. In 2011/2012, there was some disruption in the Admin/Bookkeeper role so there were periods when the listing of correspondence was limited. However, committee catch-ups dealt with the important corporate and service delivery issues. The committee operated under a standard decision making process and occasionally used the executive decision making procedure between meetings with decisions reviewed and formally endorsed at subsequent committee meetings: Mobile Meet accommodation at the Opal Cove; Staff contracts; Final Subscription and MRP Budgets; banking matters and supporting CCSA’s submission as Professional Support Co-ordinator [As their sub-contractor]. Executive members liaised with the EO regularly. As there were many new Committee Members elected as Regional representatives, time was spent on induction and describing the role. As with all committees, learning the work of MCSA is a steep learning curve that takes a few annual cycles to be on top of. MCSA’s corporate information storage and retrieval system has been steadily re-worked over the past two years. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

 

4.2

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Committee members are provided with netbooks for meetings, MCSA documents, training and Regional Mobile Service Network support 2012/2013 will see a large turnover of Executive Member and Regional Rep roles and consequent recruitment drive and induction activities. Facilitate staff and contractor issues

This work here covers maintaining a dynamic and happy staff team and other employment matters such as recruitment, induction, professional development, supervision, communication, consultation, WH&S, industrial, performance, contractor supervision and grievance matters.  Executive Officer: The committee has had only one permanent employee, the Executive Officer, in the last sixteen years, usually on 38 hours per week of paid employment. For Professional Development the EO reads a vast amount from journals, newsletters, reference group papers and online sources on the range of governance and management practices. Attended ICPA Conference in March, various IR workshops and ACCS Conference in May 2012. To attend ECA Conference in October 2012.  Early Childhood Project Officer: Melissa Bridges has been employed as ECPO since April 2008, for an initial 3 months, then in a fixed term 3 year capacity to mid-2011 at 28hpw. This has been extended to end-June 2013 when the MRP’s contract is due for renewal. Over the last few years, carryover funds allowed for the role to be extended for 4hpw for the full year to end June 2009 as well as for 5 months to end-June 2010 and the same again for early 2011. An extra 38 core staff hours was added to the role for the lead up to Mobile Meets from 2009. The EC PO role has taken over facilitating the Mobile Meet and most of MCSA’s PR like activities Melissa’s PD consisted of reading a wide range of EC practice material; CCSA EYLF Programming and Planning; ARACY Seminar; CCCCNSW KTS and NQF webinars; DEC seminars.  Admin/Bookkeeper: The Association contracted a bookkeeper from early 2006 through CMAP. Better MRP funds for 2007/2008 allowed for the employment of bookkeeper/administrative assistance to $20,000. The first recruitment process in November 2007 was unsuccessful. Dianne Hansen, employee of CMAP, became available for part-time work with MCSA and held a 10 hour per week position from March to end-June 2008 after which she successfully applied during the July 2008 recruitment process for the 18hpw, three year contract position, 2008 to 2011. This was renewed for another two years in June 2011. Carryover funds allowed the role to be extended for 28 hours during the end of financial year financials and tax as well as preparation for the Audit. These extra hours have now been built into the core staffing hours. From 2009/2010 carryover, Di worked an extra 3hpw in the Admin role and 3.5 hpw in an Executive Assist role From January to June 2011. Di resigned in September 2011. The first recruitment round was unsuccessful. On resume, Lauren Highfield was employed fixed term, part-time from November 2011 to early March 2012 when she had a baby. Lauren continued to work casually from April to early July 2012 on the paid maternity leave scheme’s Keep In Touch Days. Lauren has now been employed for 18hpw to the end-June 2013 when the MRP contract is up for renewal.  Admin – CIM: Carryover funds allowed for the employment of a part-time, fixed term Admin – Communications and Information Management worker from May 2009 to deal with the vast amount of information the Project sends in and out as well as deal with website maintenance, electronic mapping, filing systems and other communications and publications. The initial employment was from May 2009 to end April 2010 and was remcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

  

 

4.3

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

contracted from June to end-September 2010, then to end-December 2011. Di Hansen picked up 3.5hpw to end June 2011 and was recontracted for 7hpw from July 2011 to end December 2011. When Di left MCSA, the role was put on hold. The role has been sorely needed. Funding to extend the role needs to be found and then built into 7hpw of core staff hours. Administrator’s Network Project Officer: 2009/2010 saw the employment of Dianne Hansen as Admin Network Project Officer on part-time, fixed term employment for 6 to 10hpw to end June 2010 from 2008/2009 carryover funds. This continued for 2010/2011 and was extended at 7hpw from June 2011 to December 2011. When Di left MCSA, the role was put on hold. MCSA should seek funds to make this a longer term role or build into the core staffing of the MRP. Industrial: MCSA maintained above award conditions and wages in the transfer from Work Choices/NSW IR system NAPSA to Fair Work/Modern Award and applied Fair Work Australia’s annual wage increase to clerical staff and ANPO roles. Staff are employed under the SCHCADS Industry Award with trailing NAPSA’s from the NSW SACS and State Clerk’s Award. The 2010/2011/2012 Equal Remuneration/Gender Equity case saw MCSA classify staff under the Award with the Admin/Bookkeeper role alone being upgraded and paid accordingly from July 2012. The move to the FWA/Modern Awards system has been complex and confusing. MCSA retains Jobs Australia as its industrial advisor. Communication and Supervision: Staff debriefs were mostly monthly. Nearly 20 debriefs were held in 2011/2012 for the four non-EO roles. Work Health and Safety: WH&S matters are canvassed at staff debriefs and staff meetings. No issues of concern arose in 2012/2013. Staff leave and records: All leave and time-in-lieu entitlements were taken up as per award and policy – MCSA provides a family friendly workplace for staff with children from new born to 28 years and the occasional wolf cub plus aged parents. Staff meetings were held mostly monthly: Given the disruption in the A/B role only 6 were held in 2012/2012. Now back on track. 2012/2013: Classification under the SCHCADS Award and implementation of the Equal Remuneration case will be bedded down; The Executive Officer Job Description will be redeveloped and classification finalised under the SCHCADS; Funds will be found to send the EO to the Spielmobile conference in Munich in 2013 [In October]; MCSA will develop and implement a performance appraisal system in conjunction with the external Project evaluation process; WH&S procedures will be reworked to ‘accommodate’ changes to the WH&S and workers compensation legislation. There will be a review of MCSA’s compliance with the SCHCADS Award. Develop and maintain MCSA policies and procedures

The work here was basic. The office procedures policy was refined to include financial matters, internal communication procedures were refined and a major effort put into drafting a MCSA Planning and Evaluation Policy – See later. New Committee Members are provided with a kit of policies. Whilst MCSA has a lot of established procedures and formats, many policies need to be written up in 2012/2013.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

4.4

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Facilitate MCSA and Project funding

The work here covers liaison with funders, submissions, maintenance of contracts and accountability.  The History: Funding to end-June 2011: Section 5 provides a history of the MCSA’s MRP funding. After a decade of one-off, year by year funding, the MRP was funded on a three year contract from 2008/2009 to end-June 2011.  The finalisation of NSW FACS’ Sector Development Program [SDP] in early 2010 saw the Project re-contracted for another three years to mid2013. DEC subsequently picked up children’s service peaks funded under the SDP.  Funding for 2011/2012 was $278,000 including an indexation payment provided late in the financial year.  All standard administrative tasks were carried out and accountabilities met in 2011/2012 including workplans, contracts, reports, evaluations and audits.  MCSA has redeveloped the workplan of the MRP to be consistent with the aims and activities of the SDP – Nothing was lost in this redevelopment. A further redevelopment of planning documents has gradually incorporated aspects of the UK NCVO’s Value of Infrastructure Program, the University of Wisconsin’s ‘logic model’ and aspects of Results Based Accountability. This is part of a total redevelopment process that ties in with a better evaluation process, including external evaluation.  DEC [Ex-Department of Community Service funding] has also provided significant subsidies for the past 13 Mobile Meets. DEC’s Mobile Meet subsidies are now included in MRP funds. The level of MRP subsidy of Mobile Meets varies with what co-funding DEEWR provides and the overall revenue/expenditure equation, being $21,000 in 2011/2012. The DEC Mobile Meet subsidy has significantly reduced the cost of attendance for Mobile Services and has contributed to a good quality conference and higher attendance levels.  DEEWR funds 16 Mobile Service projects in NSW and has co-funded Mobile Meets on one-off, year by year contracts since 2005 [missing 2007]; 2008 for $15,000; 2009, 2010 and 2011 at $20,000; 2012 at $25,000. The ECPO deals with DEEWR submissions. All accountabilities were met in 2011/2012 through Mobile Meet Evaluation reports and provisions of financial declarations and Annual Audits.  The roll out of the National Early Childhood Development Strategy has implications for DEC in its COAG partnership role wrt the National Quality Framework and the role out of the Universal Access Initiative under the National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education. With 3,500 licensed children’s services, 750+ community preschools and 400+ other Early Childhood Projects, DEC will have to provide resources to facilitate the development and implementation of the NQF and the Universal Access initiative. Three year contracts with annual indexation allow the MRP to resource 115 Mobile Service projects.  The potential inclusion of Mobile Services in the NQF after 2014 will require continued MRP funds. MCSA is in a good position to support NSW Mobile Services in the transition to NQF and is already supporting on this issue. MCSA should be funded by DEEWR to support their 16 NSW projects. MCSA could develop generic resources for out-of-state Mobiles.  Children’s Services Central [CSC] is the NSW Professional Support Program agency which supports DEEWR funded services. MCSA is not part of the CSC consortium and is registered as a preferred provider. CSC has subsidised some Mobile Meet and regional network training. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

 The contract for the NSW Professional Support Co-ordinator was put to tender in early 2012. MCSA supported the tender of CCSA, which was unsuccessful.  MCSA submitted for a small amount of funds in June 2010 under DEEWR’s National Workforce Strategy’s National EC Workforce Strategy’s Better Practice Initiative to re-develop the Venue Management System resource. This was unsuccessful, but its time will come in 2014/2015 when Mobiles transition to the NQF.  2012/2013: MCSA will seek a three year renewal of DEC’s MRP funding which finishes in June 2013; MCSA should seek extra funding to more deeply resource services on WH&S and ICT technologies as well as extra funds for the Administrators Network Project Officer role and the internal Admin-CIM role. 4.5

Facilitate financial processes

The work here covers budget preparation, approvals, payments, operating accounts, financial reporting and audit & accountability processes.  MCSA has transitioned to a full accrual accounting system over the past three years. This initially involved some difficulties, particularly for the treatment of assets, past and current, as well as provisioning to replace important equipment and dealing with prepayments.  Chart of Account items are now standard for all budgets. MCSA decided against using the Standard Chart of Accounts as it has less power than MCSA’s own charts.  Mobile Meet budgets are usually adopted by the MCSA committee in two stages: An ‘interim’ Mobile Meet budget is approved in February/March for the following financial year’s Mobile Meet in September and then a ‘final’ full budget in June to cover admin and program costs as well as final revenue/subsidy estimates. This timing of budget approvals allows for the previous year’s surplus/deficit to be taken into account and any DEEWR subsidy, after which Mobile Meet registration fees are finalised. Accumulated carry-over/unspent Mobile Meet funds from the previous Meet are also part of the equation. The venue/accommodation aspect of the budget for MM 2012 at Opal Cove, Coffs Harbour, was adopted by an executive decision in December 2011 to secure the venue. An interim MM12 budget was adopted in March and the final MM12 Budget was adopted at June 2012 MCSA meeting. Significant prepayment deposits were required. MM involves a serious number of financial transactions.  As usual, an Interim MRP Budget for 2011/2012 was adopted in June 2011, accounting for DEEWR’s $20,000 for MM 2011 subsidy, therefore freeing up $20,000 in the MRP budget to be spent on non-core activities. It takes three months for the final carryover from the previous year and annual indexation to be known to enable finalization of budgets, usually at November MCSA meetings. There was a glitch in finalizing the MRP budget in November 2011 as the EO had trouble interpreting the prepayments and the annual indexation had not been announced. The full and final MRP 11/12 budget was finalised in March 2012. The 2010/2011 carryover allowed for the continuation of the non-core, fixed term, part-time roles to only end-December 2011. The Interim MRP Budget for 12/13 was adopted at the June 2012 MCSA meeting. Under-spend in several areas plus potential and unexpected copyright fee revenue will see a good carryover from 11/12 that will be committed to extra non-core, fixed-term, part-time staff in 2012/2013. The final MRP Budget for 12/13 will be adopted at the November 2012 MCSA committee meeting. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

 The Association’s Interim Subscription Account budget for 11/12 was adopted in June 2011, again waiting for the final carryover through the auditing process. The principle has always been that the Association’s governance function is paid for through member subscriptions. MCSA claims a percentage of any grants as a management fee, usually $4,000, mostly Mobile Meet. Membership fee revenue has been increasing as MCSA implements better processes. Unfortunately, expenses related to travel are increasing and MCSA has had to raise membership fees and look for higher management fees to cover costs. The Interim Subscriptions Account Budget for 2011/2012 was adopted in June 2011 and membership fees finalised in July 2011, with membership fees increased significantly. The interim Subscriptions Account Budget for 2012/2013 was adopted in June 2012, with membership fees increased slightly.  Financial activities and transactions are approved at Committee, Executive Committee and EO levels. The Admin/Bookkeeper has no approval authority and only access to view on-line accounts and set up payments. Financial documents are made available to MCSA meetings for comment. The bookkeeping arrangement allows for month and YTD listings for actual:budget comparisons. Financial Statements with comments were provided for each month in 2011/2012. The Executive Committee is emailed transaction request details & summaries. Financial transactions involve viewing or active tasks by six people [The EO, Admin/Bookkeeper & four executive members].  Audits are included in the Annual Reports. Audit preparation involves a huge amount of month to month work as well as preparing final financial reports and documentation. The Auditors are very thorough in review of transactions as well as financial, governance and management processes. Audit processes went well in 2011/2012.  A note to Audits refers to MCSA’s Capital Replacement Program showing that retained earnings also include funds to replace existing important equipment. In 2011/2012, a further note refers to copyright fee revenue showing in retained earnings, where MCSA is uncertain about ownership – TBA.  Staff liabilities are fully accounted for and calculated progressively and monthly.  The Assets and Depreciation Schedule is verified by the Auditor.  Wage and conditions issues required a lot of paperwork in 2011/2012 with changes to staff, hours, rates and increments.  2011/2012 saw the continued re-working of financial policies and procedures with most payments now on-line and keeping up to date with IR paperwork, IR accrual requirements, ATO acquittal processes, MYOB updates & multiple Superannuation organisations.  Account signatories, cheque book and on-line, have been reworked as Executive Committee membership and Admin/Bookkeeping staff changes.  Admin/Bookkeeping staff: After several years, Di Hansen moved on in September 2011 having provided wonderful service to MCSA. Lauren Hansen was employed from November 2011, picked up the role and has successfully led the MCSA through the 2011/2012 audit.  2012/2013: MCSA will further refine financial policies, including fraud control, as well as seek better interest returns from accounts.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

4.6

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Facilitate tax & duty issues

The work here covers ensuring MCSA keeps out of trouble with the ATO, is able to access the tax and duty benefits available to NFP’s & is a good corporate citizen.  MCSA has a minimal level of revenue-raising and generally only handles GST from government grants, Association membership and Mobile Meet registrations.  The Association has exemption from state duties which was tested by NSW OSR this year: Motor vehicle and insurance stamp duties.  BAS and PAYG requirements have been met throughout the year.  2010/2011 and 2011/2012 tax summaries and statement tasks went smoothly  MCSA hasn’t applied for Deductible Gift Recipient status [DGR] as, under the current arrangements, there is little likelihood of success.  MCSA used the ATO’s on-line ‘ITEC status check’ to re-affirm MCSA’s ITEC status in June 2011 and 2012. This is done annually.  2012/2013: MCSA will re-attempt to use the ATO’s on-line facility [#!!#$%^&%**!]. MCSA will track the work of the Australian Charities and NFP Commission as harmonized NFP regulation and charity tax concessions policy is developed. 4.7

Facilitate insurance issues

The work here covers ensuring MCSA assets, operations and governance are insured against risks.  MCSA continues to be fully insured for its activities and equipment, including liability insurance for directors and officers as well as IR protection.  April/May 2012 saw a full review of insurances.  Insurance for equipment is aligned with the Asset and Depreciation Schedule and Capital Replacement Schedule.  MRP, Mobile Meet and Subscriptions accounts share insurance costs.  Workers Comp insurance is through GIO, covering the financial year. Accounting for ‘actuals’ and ‘estimates’ goes smoothly with figures supplied from Audit and budgets.  2012/2013: Arising from the April 2012 review of insurances, MCSA will develop tighter procedures and documentation around Volunteer Insurance, encouraging participation in MCSA’s Management Committee and Mobile Meet Organising Committee as a paid employee of the member organisation. Equipment related schedules will be reviewed. 4.8

Facilitate premise issues

The work here covers maintaining decent premises to carry out the work.  The Admin/Bookkeeper role is responsible for accommodation issues: Lease, cleaning, equipment and security.  The premises are fit for purpose for a small team of staff. The safety of premises is a standard discussion point at staff debriefs and meetings.  Better funding for the MRP from July 2007 and a three year contract from July 2008 saw a move in August 2008 to much better premises to accommodate increased staffing and a three year lease. The lease was renewed in 8 2011 to the end of the Project’s contract period, June 2013.  Rent rises annually with CPI. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

 A paper recycling system was instituted in 2011.  2012/2013: MCSA will re-lease the premises after securing another 3 years of MRP funding from July 2013; 4.9

Facilitate assets, equipment & supplies issues

The work here covers keeping MCSA’s assets functioning and up to date  The Admin/Bookkeeper role is mostly responsible for equipment and asset related tasks.  The Association has a full electronic office and tries to keep up with ICT technologies  All aspects of equipment are listed and regularly updated in an Asset and Depreciation Schedule whilst expensive equipment is provided for in a Capital Replacement Schedule, noted in the Audit.  2011/2012 saw: Use of Donortec for subsidised software, web-host capacity upgrade, implementation of discussion platform software, reworking of back-up system, remote access refresh, update of anti-virus system, a new server, research on email network systems, networking system and MS Office upgrade as well as Tri-Community undertaking more complex website tasks after Admin-CIM role finished.  The Project’s databases and email listings are important assets requiring constant attention. Previous e-list instability problems have been solved and a refined update system instituted.  The Project maintains a resource agency & web-based e-list membership list with account & password database requiring regular attention.  The Project continues a revamp of its electronic and paper-based filing systems with the ultimate aim of having MCSA resources and kits logged and available in a database for easy perusal and retrieval.  MCSA’s library of resources, from other agencies and those developed by MCSA, are assets to be logged& distributed, including WH&S resource Fifty Sheds of Grey and the hit governance resource Community Based Management: Barefoot and blind-folded across a floor strewn with lego.  ITC procedures continue to evolve as so much is happening/can go wrong.  MCSA received copyright fee revenue of approx. $20,000 in 2011/2012 from the CAL for a conference paper used in a university course. MCSA is yet to finally determine the copyright owner.  Services have expressed a high regard for fieldwork. The Project currently hires cars for fieldwork - This was a reasonable arrangement under the short-term nature of MRP funding. Consideration needs to be given to the lease/purchase of a vehicle.  Several problems in 2011/2012: Some problems with networking computers and ICT equipment, probably due to legacy software transitioned in the change of server. Continuing problems with website hosting that has made updating the website tiresome;  2012/2013: Finalisation of copyright ownership; Research on Skype; Tracking of training and communication technologies that will come to the fore with the NBN; Fixing networking problems; Updating/refreshing the website and probably changing website host; Development of an ICT Strategy; Replacement of equipment noted in Capital Replacement Schedule; Consideration of introducing Windows 8; Research on lease/purchase of equipment; research on cloud storage.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

4.10 Facilitate incorporation issues The work here covers maintaining MCSA as an incorporated entity.  The Association maintained its status under the Associations Incorporation Act as well as ABN.  Membership for 2011/2012 was 53 ordinary members covering 73 sponsors and 91 out of 115 Mobile projects on the database, 2 Associate member. There were also 2 out-of-state Mobiles that were Associate Members.  Membership notices are sent in July each year with Notice of AGM and associated documentation [After Mobile Meet registrations]. MCSA instituted individual Tax Invoices in 2011/2012 which produced a higher response. There were several follow-ups to end 2012 to ensure we have captured as many members as possible.  Membership fees were $100 per single Mobile Service member for 2002/2003 and 2003/2004, $121 in 2004/2005, $150 in 2005/2006, $165 in 2006/2007, $176 in 2007/2008, $198 for 2008/2009, 2009/2010, $220 for 2010/2011, a large increase to $264 for 2011/2012 to deal with increasing governance expenses and a small increase to $275 for 2012/2013. Members with more than one Mobile Service pay a small extra amount. Associate memberships have stayed at $33.  The AGM in September 2011 was successful with all but the Sydney Regional Rep role position filled. Sue Kingwill from Contact Inc. continues as Returning Officer and Public Officer.  The Annual Report 2010/2011, including Association Report and Audit, continued to be comprehensive and was distributed at the AGM or mailed to those not at the AGM/Mobile Meet.  The Annual Report continues as a comprehensive accountability document as it includes the Audit as well as the Association Report which is a process and output evaluation of the Project and MCSA’s governance and management.  All corporate paperwork was filed on time.  MCSA‘s succession planning at AGM 2011 worked well, with some turnover of Executive Committee and new Regional Reps coming on board. A number of Executive Committee members will move on at AGM 2012.  See above ‘Connect’ activity area for the operation of Regional Mobile Service Networks.  2012/2013: MCSA to track development of Charities and NFP regulator and charity concession tax issues; MCSA to look at succession planning given the turnover of committee members, out of state membership, changes to the constitution to formalise teleconference arrangements and some SGM refinements, closer attention to membership applications and approvals, closer attention to nominations at the AGM, re-working the regions, re-working reimbursements and arrangements for attendance at committee meetings and formalizing Regional Rep roles in the facilitation of regional meetings and training.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

4.11 Facilitate MCSA PR issues The work here covers publicity for MCSA as an organisation [ie: Different to PR for Mobile Services as a service type].  The work of the MRP and the PR work of MCSA committee members, past and present, are the face of MCSA.  MCSA has an attractive and recognizable logo/branding that makes for very handsome stationary and staff  Promotional products with the MCSA logo are distributed at Mobile Meets  MCSA’s website contains much about MCSA, including the Association Report  MCSA distributes the MRP Resourcing Strategies to enquirers  The Introduction to Mobiles briefing paper, Flickr site, social media, website and PR powerpoint refers to the work of MCSA.  2012/2013: Redevelopment of MCSA’s brochure; Development of a catchphrase for MCSA as opposed to the access // everywhere catch-phrase for Mobile Services: MCSA: Double plus un-ungood? 4.12 Facilitate Project & MCSA planning, monitoring & evaluation The work here covers planning the work of the Association and funded projects, monitoring them, evaluating them and refocusing and improving.  Planning and evaluation is mostly focused on the activities of the funded project. Annual MRP Workplans are developed in June, implemented and reviewed monthly at staff debriefs, reviewed quarterly at MCSA Committee meetings & reviewed through a ‘process and output’ evaluation annually in the Association Report element of the Annual Report.  Planning and evaluation of MCSA and the work of the MCSA Management Committee is incorporated in, reported on and assessed in Activity Area 4 of the MRP Workplan.  MCSA has reformatted the MRP Workplans to the three objective format of the NSW Government’s Sector Development Program [SDP]. This included a move to electronic recording/logging and development of an activity coding system reflecting the three SDP objectives.  DEC picked up the funding of the Children’s Services peaks from Community Services in March 2011 and continued using the SDP in 2011/2012 and now into 2112/2013. 2012/2013 may see a review of DEC’s approach to the use of the SDP in conjunction with a total review of sector resourcing which may come through the Brennan Review of NSW ECE funding. This has implications for MRP funding, planning and evaluation – MCSA is ready for this.  Strategic/prioritised issues are highlighted in MRP Workplans as well as canvassed in the Association Report element of the Annual Report. MCSA Committee meetings review the work as well as focus on strategic issues for Mobile Services and MCSA. 2012/2013 will see the drafting of a strategic issues document that will inform the development of a three year Strategic Management Plan.  A Mobile Meet evaluation is produced each year, based on a survey of participants.  Workshops provided by MCSA are evaluated independently.  The Project develops a Training and Resourcing Needs Report in March each year which informs the Mobile Meet program and MRP Workplan.  MCSA Committee members, as on-the-ground practitioners, provide evaluative feedback for the direction and tasks of the Project and the operations of the Association. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

 The Association’s plans for an external evaluation have moved forward with the drafting of an MCSA Planning and Evaluation Framework and engagement of an external evaluator to oversee the development of the policy and then carry out the evaluation. The development of the framework raised the issue of clarifying higher order concepts such as values, vision, purpose and stakeholder focus of MCSA and its direct work. The framework also deals with performance measures.  Planning wrt Mobiles and the Project and the operations of MCSA is practical and good enough. The introduction of an external evaluation process for the funded project will complete the kit.  2012/2013: Finalise and implement MCSA’s Planning and Evaluation Framework; Implement external evaluation of MRP activities; Complete a strategic analysis and Strategic Management Plan; Track DEC funding of children’s services resourcing.

Conclusion Public policy issues took up a lot of the EO’s time in 2011/2012 as regulation and funding issues became critical. The Project’s full staff was able to provide an extraordinary amount of direct resourcing and support. 2011/2012 saw a high level of fieldwork & networking by the Northern and Hunter Region Networks through the organisation of the Mobile Meets. There are many issues on the agenda for 2012/2013:  

               

Advocating for governments to recognise the usefulness of the ‘mobile’ model and the various types of Mobile Children’s Services. Continuing to support services on regulation and licensing, especially through the implementation of the ‘supplementary provisions regulation 2012’ that will take Mobiles through to the time that they become subject to the National Regulation. Supporting Mobiles in the development of National legislation that will see Mobiles become in-scope NQF. Focusing on the roll out of COAG’s National Early Childhood Development Strategy and its many sub-strategies. Reworking WH&S resources A deeper focus on supporting Indigenous communities and agencies A deeper focus on supporting migrant & refugee communities and agencies Developing Mobile specific EC resources and workshops, especially on the Early Years Learning Framework and NQS Supporting DEC funded services through funding and service development issues, especially where they are financially vulnerable Contributing to ECEC workforce policy development Work closely with resourcing agencies to facilitate access to Mobiles Work closely with other peaks in the development of public policy Support DEC in their take up of the ECEC sector and the ECEC sector in their engagement with DEC Contributing to the review of the funding of NSW ECEC services Contributing to the review of funding of DEEWR’s BBF Program Supporting DEEWR funded services on their governance, management & service delivery plus policy work on funding levels & transition to NQF Continuing the PR campaign, especially the tertiary student focus Advocating for governments to address gaps in service delivery, especially engaging with DEC to ascertain Preschool gaps and move to fill them mcsa 52


Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

   

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Stabilising and improving the Project’s & Mobile Service’s electronic communication capacity & usage Addressing shortcomings in MCSA governance & management policies Implementing a competent external evaluation process Developing a Strategic Analysis for Mobiles and MCSA which will feed into a three year strategic Plan

As usual, the Project will maintain a focus on translating policy level issues to coal-face language and practice, and vice-versa. Supporting community management will continue to be a focus. In conclusion, thank you to all those who have supported the Project over the past year. As stated previously, the Project is about 'information' & the Project is particularly grateful to those who supplied information, filled out surveys, contributed to the Mobile Meets or gave advice and feedback on the development of the various resources and MCSA’s public policy positions. Every conversation, network meeting and visit to a service builds our knowledge and skill and keeps us up to date. All this is communicated to the other services and helps in our advocacy work. In the past, this report lists the individual contributions of many committee and friends – This has been fraught with problems as good people have been missed. Good people: Thankyou! You know who you are! Project staff would like to thank the Association’s management committee who were always willing to listen to ideas and supported and encouraged the work in thought and action. All have been personal supports as well. We thank those committee members who have or will move on in 2011/2012/2013 and welcome their replacements. That Mobilers continue to go on to MCSA’s Management Committee, go off and then come back, formally and informally, again and again, is a testament to the valued work of Mobiles and the supportive and celebratory culture of MCSA. You can check out but you can never leave! A big thank you to MCSA staff who took up their roles with gusto in 2011/2012, providing an extraordinary amount of assistance to Mobiles: Melissa Bridges, Dianne Hansen and Lauren Highfield. Dianne Hansen resigned in September 2011, providing many years of fabulous to MCSA and the administrators in Mobiles. Thanks to the Hunter Region Mobilers who organised Mobile Meet 2011. Thanks to the Northern Region Mobilers organising Mobile Meet 2012. Project staff continue to learn a great deal and be inspired by our members. The new Minister for Education and Communities, Adrian Piccoli, recognizes the value of the ‘mobile’ model and will recognise the value of MCSA. Resistance is futile. mcsa 53


Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Thanks also to staff at NSW DEC and FACS Funding ECEC Unit for their support of Mobile Services and MCSA in 2011/2012. MCSA looks forward to further engagement with DEC in 2012/2013. A thank you also to NSW DEC/FACS Network Office staff for their down to earth support of Mobiles and the Project’s work. You know who you are. MCSA has also worked constructively with NSW DEEWR. The BBF may put some meat into expanding collaboaration. The executive branch in Canberra has also come up with the goods on funding for Mobile Meets. MCSA has always been a special organisation. Although relatively small in membership and widely dispersed, we have the advantage of focus and commitment and deep community support for the work. It is gratifying to work with and for a great number of committed 'mobilers'. Your work is hard and extra-ordinary – Don’t forget that. It is appreciated in the communities in which you work and it does make a great difference to the lives of those you serve. In the feedback we get from any source, the importance of Mobile Children’s Services in isolated communities is emphasised time and time again. There is still work to do. The good karma of the Association continues and we can look forward to another stimulating and productive year. Tim Keegan Executive Officer

August 2012 The NSW Government funds the Mobiles Resourcing Project which includes a Mobile Meet subsidy

DEEWR contributed funds to Mobile Meet 2010

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

5. A bit of MCSA history This current period of a funded resourcing project differs dramatically from the work of the Association in the late 1980’s to mid-1990’s, where a ‘heroic executive’ carried the load whilst they worked in their own services. The project builds on the work of the early MCSA committees and other resourcing agencies such as Contact Inc. and Network of Community Activities, who were also a great support to the fledgling MCSA. The MCSA Management Committee now acts as a Project manager, overseeing the work of funded projects and contributing grounded knowledge. The funding for the Project was on a one-off basis each year for the first eleven & a half years by the NSW Department of Community Services [Children’s services matters have now been transferred to Department of Education and Communities], with no guarantee of funding from year to year, but strong support from our colleagues in the Department. The Project was initially funded by NSW Community Services for one year to end September 1997. NSW Community Services extended this funding for two years to September 1999, again to September 2000 and then again to September 2001, September 2002, September 2003 and September 2004. The Project was funded for $84,000 [Ex GST] from October 2002 to end September 2003 and $85,712 for October 2003 to end September 2004. 2003/2004 funds specifically excluded resourcing FACSIA/DEEWR funded services. MCSA made a submission in April 2004 for the period October 2004 to September 2005. Funding for the MRP was disrupted in 2004/2005 as NSW Community Services rightly thought FACSIA/DEEWR should contribute to the funding of the Project. In the meantime, the Project was funded for $60,000 from October 2004 to end March 2005 and then finally for $120,000 for the 12 months April 2005 to March 2006. A further $30,000 was provided to the end of June 2006. Funding for 2004/2005 initially covered the period October 2004 to end March 2005, as negotiations were held with the Federal Department of Family, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs [FACSIA - Now DEEWR] for a contribution to funding. FACSIA funding was not able to be negotiated in the period and NSW Community Services finally funded the project for another 12 months, to end March 2006. This funding was a substantial amount which included a Mobile Meet 2005 subsidy. NSW Community Services then funded the Project for three months to end June 2006 and subsequently for twelve months to end June 2007 to both bring the funding in line with the financial year as well as work in with the roll-out of the NSW Government’s Preschool Investment and Reform Plan from 2006/2007. 2005 saw DEEWR provide funding to the Association for the first time to assist their funded services re-develop their current project and expand their service delivery [From May to October 2005]. DEEWR funds, for the first time, were also provided for Mobile Meet 2005 and then again for Mobile Meets 2006 [$15,000], 2008 [$15,000], 2009 [$20,000], 2010 [$20,000], 2011 [$20,000] and 2012 with an increase to $25,000.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

It has been a major objective of the Association that DEEWR contribute funds to the resourcing of Australian Government funded Mobiles in NSW. At the moment, MCSA can support these services under the NSW Government contract as most are either licensed or partially funded by DEC. The EO took on the FACSIA [DEEWR] Resourcing Project in 2005. The EO’s NSW Community Services’ funded role was back-filled by Carolyn Armstrong who focused on resourcing early childhood practices and organising Mobile Meet 2005. Mobiles Resourcing Project funds from 2006/2007 and surplus funds from Mobile Meet 2006 kept Carolyn employed in several short-term, part-time stints working on EC issues and facilitating Mobile Meet 2006. Carolyn, working as the EC Project Officer, also facilitated Mobile Meet 2007 and the initial stages of 2008 from MRP funds for 2007/2008. Funding for 2006/2007 was $152,000. This covered the basics and allowed for full-time EO, a good amount for contract bookkeeping and $20,000 subsidy for Mobile Meet 2006. FACSIA/DEEWR chipped in with $15,000 to subsidise Mobile Meet 2005 & 2006. NSW Community Services’ funding for 2007/2008 saw a significant boost to $242,000, enabling MCSA to employ one full-time staff member [EO], parttime EC practices Project Officer & bookkeeping/administrative support plus a significant Mobile Meet 2007 subsidy. Carryover funds from 2007/2008 and NSW Community Services funds freed up from DEEWR’s Mobile Meet 2008 contribution allowed for the employment of two short term roles in 2008/2009: Part-time Project Officer developing Mobile Service specific resources [Margaret Gorham for 6hpw for 5 months to end June 2009] and a communications and information management staff member dealing with web-site, electronic communications, publications and information [Admin – Communications and Information Management – AdminCIM – Rob McTaggart for 18hpw for 4 months to end-June 2009]. Funds for 2008/2009 were $257,500 for the year and heralded the beginning of a three year contract to mid-2011. This allowed for a ‘core staffing’ of one full-time staff member [EO], one parttime Early Childhood Project Officer, one part-time Bookkeeper/Administrative Assistant and a subsidy of $20,000 for Mobile Meet 2008. NSW Community Services provided $264,500 for 2009/2010. Carryover funds from 2008/2009 and NSW Community Services funds freed up from DEEWR’s Mobile Meet 2009 contribution allowed for the continuing employment of the Admin-CIM [18hpw to end-June 2010] as well as a small number of hours for a worker supporting a network for the admin assistants/bookkeepers in Mobile Children’s Services [ANPO – Di Hansen took on this role for 6 hpw for 5 months to end-June 2010]. These funds also allowed for an extra 4hpw for the ECPO for 5 months to end-June 2010. MCSA participated in NSW Community Services’ development of a funding program for resourcing and advocacy agencies in 2009/2010. This was completed in March 2010 and resulted in MCSA being re-contracted under mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

the Sector Development Program for three years from July 2010 at $264,500 plus annual indexation for 2010/2011. Carryover from 2009/2010, plus NSW Community Service funds freed up from DEEWR’s Mobile Meet 2010 subsidy, allowed for the continuation of the ANPO and Admin-CIM roles at 7hpw and 3.5hpw, an extra 4hpw for the ECPO from February to June 2011 [For extra work associated with PR with tertiary institutions] and some executive assistant hours to help the Executive Officer tie up loose ends, from February to June 2011. The DEC became the funder of the Mobiles Resourcing Project in 2011/2012 as the new state government transferred ECEC responsibilities. Funds from DEC in 2011/2012 were $278,000. DEC funds plus funds freed up from DEEWR Mobile Meet 2011 funding, were adequate for the employment of the core MRP staff plus a few hours per week for ANPO and Admin-CIM roles to end December 2012. As the skilled worker taking on these roles left in September 2011, MCSA put the roles on hold. Other funds will have to be sourced in 2012/2013 to continue these noncore, fixed term, part-time Admin-CIM and ANPO roles.

August 2012

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

6.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Keeping the history – Regulation The regulation of licensed services is a key public policy and strategic issue for Mobile Services. Sound public policy will allow licensed Mobile Services to provide good quality and safe early education and care activities to children, families and communities in isolated circumstances. In particular, as it is a given that a licensed Mobile Service should have the same operational standards as any other ECEC service [Such as qualifications and staff:child ratios], any children’s services regulation needs to account for the provision of a session at premises [Facilities and equipment] that are not purpose built for child care. A [Subordinate legislation] review of the children’s services regulation 2004 began in August 2008 for implementation in 2010, trying to get in before the mooted NQF was introduced. It was a major priority for the Project in 2008 and 2009, with MCSA keen to maintain the integrity of the Mobile ‘model’. MCSA was a steering group member, providing several submissions. The Review was abandoned in late 2009 after COAG adopted the NQF sooner than expected and work started on developing the new National ECEC system incorporating new legislation, the National Quality Standard and a ratings and assessment system. MCSA provided a submission on DEEWR’s Regulatory Impact Statement for the proposed quality standards. Having been thwarted by the early introduction of the NQF as adopted through COAG, the NSW Government settled for developing and implementing an ‘amended’ NSW Children’s Services Regulation 2004. The amended regulation adopted higher standards around the child:staff ratios for 0 to 2’s and introduced some useful reforms to many administrative processes, consistent with mooted processes in the NQF. The Project provided a submission. This was mostly developed in Terms 3 and 4 of 2010 and implemented from 1st January 2011 with business as usual for Mobiles. As such, all licensed services in NSW were under this same legislation to the end of 2011, when most services became regulated under the new National legislation and Mobile Services, as out-of-scope under the NQF, became regulated under the new Children’s [Education and Care Services] Supplementary Provisions Act 2011 [Supplementary Provision Act] and Children’s Education and Care Services] Supplementary Provisions Regulation 2004 [Supplementary Provisions Regulation]. Much of 2011 was spent on tracking the development of the in-scope legislation and contributing to the development of legislation for the out-ofscope NQF services like Mobile Services. The early part of 2012 was spent resourcing Mobile Services on the new Supplementary Provisions Act and Regulation. The review of the NSW Children’s Services Regulation 2004 occurred in the context of the development of a national approach to an ECEC quality assurance and regulation system instituted under COAG. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

This is part of the wider COAG process of harmonizing the approaches of the various jurisdictions on key economic issues and industries and is a subplan/strategy/initiative of the National Early Childhood Development Strategy. The National Quality Framework, including the National Quality Standard was adopted by COAG in November 2009. The NQF will roll out in stages, with a starting date of 1/1/2012 for the legislation and the phasing in of standards, including better child:staff ratios and qualifications. Mobiles, along with some MAC’s & Occasional Care Services, are out-ofscope for the initial roll out of the system. MCSA can live with this, particularly as the sharp end of the ratings and assessment system is bedded down. The latter part of 2010 saw the development of model national legislation [Acts of Parliament] to be adopted by each state. Victoria developed the model legislation as a law and this was adopted by the NSW Parliament as an Act in November 2010. Next on the list was the development of the nitty-gritty of legislation, a regulation. A Draft National Early Childhood Services Regulation was drafted and consulted on. The Project consulted on this and provided a submission in April 2011. The Project closely examined the Draft Regulation for a mechanism that would allow NSW Mobile Services to maintain flexibility on venue issues. The ‘Service Waiver’ and ‘Temporary Waiver’ clauses and ‘application for waiver’ clauses provide a useful mechanism comparable to Clause 17 of the current NSW Children’s Services Regulation. Work proceeded from an early stage on the development of the NQF ratings and assessment system. This has had several cycles of development, piloting and review. MCSA has only tracked this loosely to end 2011 as licensed Mobiles won’t be subject until sometime in 2014/2015 after a formal review of the NQF. MCSA has recently tracked this more closely as the system began its work with NQF services from April 2012. The final documentation of the ratings and assessment system, published in late 2011, provides useful guides on indicators of quality and will help the eventual transition of Mobiles to the new system. The Early Years Learning Framework element of the NQF was provided in mid-2009 and is a key element in the new system and its use a standard to achieve. The EYLF is a well accepted framework. MCSA has encouraged Mobiles to learn and implement the EYLF to kick start their transition to the NQF. Addressing the ‘Program’ area of the National Quality Standard, the EYLF is a useful tool. Given the change of direction from a full review of the NSW Children’s Services Regulation in late 2009 and the work at hand for the NQF, the NSW Regulation Review Reference Group morphed into the NSW Community Services’ National Quality Framework Reference Group in early 2010.

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Meetings proceed throughout 2010 and 2011 and then into the implementation phase in early 2012 after which MCSA became part of DEC’s NQF Partnership Group, focused on resourcing the new legislation and the introduction of the ratings and assessment system. MCSA is keenly watching this as we develop and implement a resourcing strategy to transition Mobile Services to the NQF after 2014. Throughout the last few years, the Project has provided Mobiles with a lot of information about the NQF and encouraged services to attend information session and training sessions. We have supported all the other resourcing agencies in getting Mobiles to their training. Mobile Meet 2011 workshops had the EYLF as foundational and workshops at Mobile Meet 2012 will be underlain by the EYLF and the National Quality Standards. The June 2011 meeting of the NQF Reference Group, continued by the new NSW Government, dealt with the transitional legislation needed by out-ofscope services in NSW after the National Law and Regulation start on 1st January 2012. DEC provided a discussion paper. MCSA asked and the Minister agreed to allow the paper to be widely distributed and consulted on. MCSA provided a consultation feedback resource, consulted with the MCSA committee [Which always acts as a focus group] and provided a submission in June 2011. MCSA’s position for the transitional NSW Regulation was and is that it should pick up and mirror administrative processes in the National Regulation, maintain current standards that are better and adopt some better standards in the National Regulation. Most of this position came through in the new Supplementary Provisions Act and Regulation from 1st January 2012 and is set to continue as the Supplementary Provisions Regulation goes through its statutory review and is due to be amended and renewed from 1st September 2012. MCSA has developed a broad strategy for Mobile Services to be NQF ‘ready’ and has resourced to this:  2012: Mobiles implement the Early Years Learning Framework  2013: Mobiles implement the National Quality Standard into their practice  2014: Mobiles trial the ratings and assessment system through development of a Quality Improvement Plan Overall, MCSA is clear that the NSW Government and departmental officers value the work of licensed Mobiles. This is important if Mobiles are to retain the flexibility needed to work in non-purpose built/non-compliant facilities. All Mobile Meets address children’s service regulation issues. The staged introduction of the National Quality Framework, the implementation of better standards, the re-working of regulatory processes, the application of a quality assurance system to Mobiles [For the first time] and the introduction of new WH&S laws means that MCSA’s current resources will need to be re-developed. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Although referred to in the advice and information strategy, the provision of support on licensing issues also has an advocacy component. The provision of Mobile Children’s Services to communities and their licensing by Assessment and Compliance Officers [ACO’s] is a complex matter with a substantial degree of subjectivity and ambiguity. The standards of safety have to be negotiated. Tensions arise. Licensing Mobile Services is a difficult task for ACO’s. They recognize the tensions between access, safety and quality in non-standard venues and the challenges in non-centre based children’s services ‘systems of work’. The past year has continued to see few problems arising in the licensing and monitoring of services as both NSW Community Services and the licensed Mobiles have come to grips with each other’s needs and the over-riding value to make services accessible to children and families. The Project has taken to referring inexperienced CSO’s to those more experienced. MCSA advocated for several Mobiles in 2011/2012 on regulation issues and was also successful with DEC agreeing to continue the arrangement of a ‘contact’ officer in the Directorate who is knowledgeable on Mobile Service licensing issues.

August 2012

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

7.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

Keeping the history – Funding The history of Preschool funding in NSW over the past 20 years needs to be retained. The Preschool system in NSW has been broken for over two decades. Governments of all persuasions abandoned NSW’s Preschools up to the significant injection of Federal funds from July 2009. Neither elected officials nor senior public employees understood or valued the importance of Preschools in their communities or the value of a state-wide Preschool system. In far too many cases, the faults in the system were laid at the feet of struggling preschools. Injections of State [PIRP] and Australian Government [Universal Access] funds have revived the patient although the choice of therapy may be ineffective for a significant population of parents who cannot afford to pay the fees [Even with the recent funds injections] or for Preschools with low utilization rates in rural and regional communities. From a system modeling perspective, the old approach and the main aspects of the new approach [Per child funding under the Preschool Investment and Reform Plan was also carried into the use of Federal Universal Access funding] to NSW preschools has been and is doctrinaire. The new approach lacked evidence about its efficiency or effectiveness and, tellingly enough or just plain symptomatic, lacked basic piloting. Most MCSA input into preschools funding issues since the 2003 election campaign has been as a very active participant in NSW Community Services’ Preschool Affordability committees [Most of 2003] and various Preschool Funding Committees [From April 2004 to November 2004 and then again from Mid-2005 to December 2005]. This was followed by the Preschool Investment and Reform Plan [PIRP] Reference Group which petered out in June 2008, when the PIRP funding model was implemented [From July 2008]. The Federal Government rescued the NSW Government and NSW Preschools with a serious injection of Preschool funds under the NPAECE [Universal Access] from July 2009. This is set to escalate to a decent level by 2012/2013, perhaps commensurate with the real level of funding needed by a good quality Preschool system. What happened in 2010/2011 The NSW Government’s Preschool Investment and Reform Plan [PIRP] kicked in an extra $30m to the NSW Preschool system from mid-2008. Approximately an extra $10m directly to Preschools through the PIRP funding formula and a potential $20m to meet PIRP Growth targets [Less the cost of organising this through funds holders, Community Child Care Co-op and Care West]. The Federal Government kicked in an extra $21m for 09/10, apparently into the PIRP funding formula, through the Universal Access Initiative. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

As part of the funding arrangement between the Federal Government and the NSW Government [Entered into in May 2009], two information sessions were held [2/10/09 and 23/4/10], called the Universal Access Round Table. A consultation on how to best use all Preschool funds to reach ‘hard to reach’ communities was finally held in August 2010. NSW Community Services, unilaterally and without consultation with the sector or apparent trialing, introduced an administrative rule for 2009/2010 funding, related to the 15 hours per week objective, that reduced potential funding to services by limiting funding to only 16 out of 20 potential children in each Preschool ‘unit’ – The 2.5 divisor rule [ie: 15hpw is 2.5 days of preschool if a day is taken as 6 hours]. NSW Community Services’ staff claim this was forced on them by the contract with the Federal Government under the Universal Access Initiative, however, this initiative calls for an introduction of the 15 hours per week by the end of 2013 not by mid-2009. MCSA has no idea why this happened apart from some strategy to make the ‘counts’ for the growth of preschool places look better. In 2011/2012, the Project continued to work with Mobile Preschools in some difficulty, to help them through the ‘survive’ stage to the ‘thrive’ stage when extra Federal Government funds and perhaps a change to the funding model would make things better. Other matters:  The continuing allocation of significant extra Federal funds [Universal Access] to Mobile Preschools through the PIRP RAM, although information about the allocation of an extra $5.3m in 2010/2011 has not been forthcoming.  The roll out of expanded or new Mobile Preschools by existing Mobiles and new auspices  A good understanding by most NSW FACS staff about the flaws in the funding model for various types of Preschools, especially those outside the 10km zone of confidence from Sydney’s beaches, although not necessarily the low income earners in that zone.  Clarification of rules allowing certain centre-based Preschools to outreach to some isolated communities as licensed ‘single venue’ Mobile Preschools, using PIRP Growth funds  Good funding being made available for set-up/establishment, equipment costs and vehicle costs under the Preschool Growth Program  The continuing use of ‘barrier’ funds to support the establishment of service and facilitate access by various ‘communities’, including ensuring adequate funds are available to for affordability  Successful partnership with NSW FACS staff to iron out anomalies and deal with flaws in the ‘per child’ funding arrangements.  Close partnership with the Preschool Growth Stage agencies to promote the mobile model, with some good results  The work of the Growth Stage agencies laying the ground work for a better Preschool system and modeling the type and depth of resourcing required at NSW Community Services network office levels. The above positives required a lot of solid work by MCSA, its NGO partners, the Growth Stage agencies, several Mobile Preschools and NSW FACS and DEC staff. mcsa

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report

The Project actively contributed to several Universal Access Roundtable meetings, including several sub-committees set up to deal with ‘hard to reach families’ and the 15hpw issue. There seemed to be very little action from NSW FACS on the issues, although the sector had a chance to agree on what the issues were and the possible solutions. The Project contributed to the Australian Government’s review of the Universal Access funding in August 2010. The Project had several constructive meetings with NSW Community Services staff on the range of issues noted above, as well as MCSA’s view that the funding of Mobile Preschools should be on a ‘budget based/contract for service’ model. Even though MCSA worked closely with a range of agencies to make the funding model work, MCSA was still unable to faithfully advise services to take on extra or new Mobile Preschools: The funds are not enough to meet ‘good quality, ‘safe’ and ‘well managed’ criteria. This view has not stopped Mobiles and non-Mobile services expanding their service delivery or establishing new Mobiles. This is often in the hope that the funding model will change for Mobile Preschools or the extra Federal funds under Universal Access will fix the problem. The Project provided material on the problems with Preschool funding to all major parties on the eve of the NSW election. MCSA looks forward to the 2011/2012 funding review announced by the DEC Minister. See Section 1.1.1 of this report for what happened in 2011/2012

August 2012

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Mobile Children’s Services Association of NSW Inc.

Excerpt: 2011/2012 Annual Report


MCSA - Annual Report 11-12 excerpt